In The Cow’s Backyard

In The Cow’s Backyard
La hamaca de la vaca


There’s always room for one more” is the mes­sage of this delight­ful cumu­la­tive tale.

One by one, many ani­mals come to the cow’s back­yard. Each one is greeted by the ant, who is enjoy­ing the shade lay­ing on the ham­mock in the cow’s back­yard. Each accepts the ant’s invi­ta­tion to lay on the ham­mock. And all goes well until the arrival of mother ele­phant. What is the ant to do now? If the ele­phant climbs on the ham­mock, it will surely break…

This story proves that “When there is good­will / there’s always a way / for one more friend / to join in and play!”

One of the beloved titles of the series Sto­ries the Year ‘Round, or in Span­ish, Cuen­tos para todo el año. The com­plete sto­ries of the series are:

A Rose with Wings
A Sur­prise for Mother Rab­bit
The Empty Piñata

Rosa alada
La sor­presa de Mamá Coneja
La piñata vacía

How the Rain­bow Came to Be
After the Storm
In the Cow’s Backyard

Cómo nació el arco iris
Después de la tor­menta
La hamaca de la vaca

The Kite
What Are Ghosts Afraid Of?
“Turkey for Thanks­giv­ing?” “No, Thanks!”

El papalote
El susto de los fan­tas­mas
–¿Pavo para la Cena de Gra­cias? –No, gracias.

The Golden Cage
I Don’t Want to Melt
It Wasn’t Me

La jaula dorada
¡No quiero der­re­tirme!
No fui yo


There is a spe­cial value to lis­ten­ing to a books read by the author. Such record­ings show just where the author wishes to con­vey feel­ings and emo­tions, empha­sis and sus­pense. When the text is put to music it acquires addi­tional inter­est for children.

I par­tic­u­larly like to read aloud and to record my read­ings so, for me, it was par­tic­u­larly joy­ful to record these twelve sto­ries in Eng­lish and Spanish.

The sto­ries can be found in indi­vid­ual cas­settes in Eng­lish and Span­ish, one for each book of the series, or in CDs in Eng­lish and Span­ish ver­sions. Each of the CDs con­tains the twelve sto­ries of the series.

A Spe­cial Bonus

Because these sto­ries have been so beloved by chil­dren, I con­ceived the idea of given them an extra dimen­sion. I have rewrit­ten the 12 sto­ries in Span­ish in verse for­mat. And Suni Paz, with her incom­pa­ra­ble cre­ativ­ity, has put them to music. So the Span­ish cas­settes and CD con­tain not only the story as pub­lished in the book told by me, but also the story retold in verse form and sang by Suni.


The twelve books of this series are some of my best well known books among bilin­gual teach­ers and their stu­dents. They are also very dear to my heart since the inspi­ra­tion for most of them comes from my own children’s childhood.

The major source of inspi­ra­tion for this book comes from my own extended fam­ily where there has always been room for one more.

We have enjoyed many fes­tiv­i­ties, birth­days, wed­dings, Thanks­giv­ing week­end, Christ­mas, in which every­one has felt free not only to come but to bring along friends.

I ded­i­cated the book to my cousins Vir­ginia de Miranda and Peque Bal­bona because their home was always open to the large fam­ily for any occasion.

While this is the inspi­ra­tion behind the essence of the book, at a more imme­di­ate level I love sleep­ing on ham­mocks. And, finally, as in many of my books and poems the birth of the book was deter­mined by a phrase that appeared in my mind, “la hamaca de la vaca,” it sounded so won­der­ful I needed to find a story for it!


If you have enjoyed read­ing or shar­ing this book, I would very much like to hear from you. Please click here to send your comments.