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Connie Cow is from the City

Connie's mom helps her learn by validating what she sees on their walks around the city.

Photo of Erin Rohler

Written by

Connie Cow is learning about the city she is from.  Mama Cow helps her by taking her for walks around town and talking about all of the exciting things they see.  What will they see today?

“Down” says Connie. 

“Down” says Mama Cow.

“Stop” says Connie.

“Stop” says Mama Cow. 

“Milk” says Connie.

“Coffee!” says Mama Cow.

“Loud!” says Connie.

“Loud!” says Mama Cow.

“Choo-choo Train” says Connie.

“Choo-choo Train” says Mama Cow.

“Fast” says Connie.

“Very fast” says Mama Cow.

“Park!” says Connie.

“Park” says Mama Cow.

“Dog” says Connie.

“Big dog!” says Mama Cow.

“Tall” says Connie.

“Tall” says Mama Cow.

“Pink!” says Connie.

“Green” says Mama Cow.

“Cars” says Connie.

“Cars” says Mama Cow.

“Tired” says Connie.

“Home” says Mama Cow.

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

This book is meant to resonate with children who live in cities as it represents some of the things they might see every day. The child cow practices her speech by calling out the things she sees, and the mother cow validates this and reinforces the behavior by repeating back what Connie says.

Share your suggested book title

Connie Cow is from the City

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

I based this book off of the fact that early childhood brain development is impacted and shaped by talk, play, and responsive attention from adults. This came from the UNICEF article on early childhood development. I also drew inspiration from the Mr. Rogers book, "Dear Mr. Rogers, Does It Ever Rain in Your Neighborhood?" which talks about how children see and wonder about their surroundings and encourages the adults in their lives to actively respond to this wonder.

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

I have no real familiarity with Philadelphia, however, I have lived in Chicago for 9 years so I am familiar with life in a major city.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

I chose to represent locations and content that we see everyday living in Chicago that could also be found in most any major city.

Location: Country

United States

Location: State or Department


Location: City


Tell us more about you / your team

I'm a mom of two children under three years old living in an urban environment. Our community allows for a very active, visual life which I feel contributes greatly to my son's language development, and I'd love to share a bit of that with other parents across the country. My husband Jason, a content creator, made the initial illustrations.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • No

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • OpenIDEO announcement email

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am a mechanical engineer and mother of two; however, I enjoy writing as a hobby.

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Join the conversation:

Photo of Estela Kennen

Very cute! :) I am wondering about coffee. Every other noun you chose is monosyllabic, and coffee isn't necessarily something a 0-3 year old needs to know to name. No doubt you have an illustration idea in mind for this, so maybe it's the best option, but consider milk, tea, or the generic drink. Also, consider adding some illustration notes in the manuscript so we current readers can more closely follow along with Connie and her mom.

Photo of Erin Rohler

Thanks for the feedback! The "coffee" line is meant to be more of a joke for the caregiver reading the story. There is a PDF attachment at the end of my submission that shows the images along with the text if you're interested :)

Photo of Estela Kennen

Ooh, thanks for pointing that out. Maybe "Milk," says Connie, "Coffee," says Mama? Keeps the humor, matches the illustration? And I had imagined the big dog being bigger. But overall, this is awesome. Super cute. Good luck!

Photo of Erin Rohler

I like that, thanks for the suggestion!

Photo of Estela Kennen

Glad I could help. :)

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