I grew up on a farm surrounded by cows and calves. My daughter, Amy, is a dancer. Is it any surprise I wrote a story about a dancing cow? I never saw a dancing cow in our pasture, but I often helped my father call the cows in for milking. He sounded a lot like Farmer Gibson calling Rose, Lily, and the rest of the herd. "Come on in Rose. Milking Time!"
Growing up around the farm, I learned quite a bit about cows and dairying. When I was a teen, I was selected as a Kansas Dairy Princess. I didn't realize knowing about cows could get you a crown, but it did.
My father, Eugene Willard Krehbiel, grew up in a family of Mennonite farmers. When he was a boy, his dream was to have a registered Ayrshire herd. Ayrshires are not a well-known breed, but Prince Charles of England thinks they are a tough and beautiful breed just as my father did. Prince Charles keeps a 180 cow herd on his Duchy Home Farm. Here's a photo of his beautiful Ayrshires; you can read more here.
Lily fans may be surprised to learn that in the original story version, Lily did not end up as a Conga cow. I have such fun "drumming" with students at author visits; I can't imagine Lily as anything else now!
Spunky, fun-loving Lily always brings out the creativity and joy in teachers, librarians, parents, and students. Here are a few ways Lily and I have been greeted at school visits:
This book is dedicated to my father, his Ayrshire dream, and all the cows at Highland Ayr dairy farm.