Millie the Cow


ML loves the Millie books by Alexander Steffensmeier. Millie is a cow.  She looks like a Holstein to me.  I know my cows.  ML’s great granddaddy owned a dairy farm.  I wish ML could have met the calmest man I have ever known.  There’s something to be said for waking at 5:30 in the morning, milking the cows, working on the farm until the noonday dinner, resting in the heat of the day, milking the cows again in the early evening, having a light dinner and going to bed by 9.  It left my grandfather a calm, grounded man,  but I digress.

Last night I asked ML, “Why do love Millie?”  She said, “She reminds me of Minerva Louise.  She’s silly”  If you haven’t read the post about Minerva Louise, here’s ML’s take on her

Trust ML… the following books should be read aloud at least three times at your house.

Millie Waits for the Mail – Millie loves to surprise the mailman.
Millie and the Big Rescue – When Millie participates in a hide and seek game, who knows what may happen.
Millie in the Snow – This one is set on Christmas Eve.  It’s one of our favorite holiday books this year.

Alexander Steffensmeier is a German author and illustrator.  In the German version, Millie’s name is Lieselotte, a contraction of Lisa and Charlotte.  I can’t wait to share this with ML.  Why did the name change to Millie in our books?  Looks like the popularity of the name Millie was on the rise in England at that time.  Made me wonder if a publisher in England released the English language version.   They did.  And guess when Millie was at the height of Great Britain popularity?  2004

Through research for the blog, I’ve learned how long it takes to actually get a picture book from idea to the hands of children.  With the first Millie book published in 2007, the renaming of Millie was a business decision.  Wouldn’t you buy a children’s book where the main character and your daughter, granddaughter, niece,  or friend shared a name?  The name is gaining popularity in Scotland and Ireland now.  Looks like Millie will continue to have a shelf life in the United Kingdom.

Sadly, Millie the cow is not widely known in the US.  But the name Millie is only 716th in popularity here.  Maybe, they should have changed her name to Emily for an American version.  No, Emily the cow just doesn’t have the same ring.

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