Title: Clarabelle: Making Milk and So Much More
Author: Cris Peterson
Illustrator: David R. Lundquist
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level: 5.7
Concepts: natural, capital and human resources
Review: Clarabelle, an enormous Holstein dairy cow, has just given birth to a calf, which means that her body is now producing milk. Lots of milk. On the Norswiss family dairy farm, Clarabelle is milked three times a day, with each session yielding about five gallons of milk. The dairy farm, with about twelve hundred cows on the property, has a large milking center loaded with modern technology. Feeding the cows also involves high-tech features, including a feed mixture that is specially formulated by a nutritionist and communicated via computer to the feed mixer truck. Also on the premises, the cow manure goes through a type of recycling process that produces methane for electricity and leftover solids for bedding in the cow stalls.
Cris Peterson, who runs a large dairy farm herself, has provided readers with an instructive book about modern techniques in dairy farming. David Lunquist’s photography is excellent, resulting in a set of clear and detailed pictures of Clarabelle and the milk production process. This book is recommended for children and adults seeking to learn something new about food and agriculture.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children