Barn Sneeze

  • Written by Karen B. Winnick
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press, 2002
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563979484; hardcover
  • Ages and Grades: 4 - 8 years; Preschool - 3

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One night the wind blows through the barn and causes Cow to sneeze, which sets off a chain reaction. Each barn animal sneezes in turn, until a cacophony of sneezing fills the night, waking Sue in the farmhouse. BARN SNEEZE is meant to be read-aloud. Make all the animal sounds and have a good time!

Listen to Karen read from BARN SNEEZE:


  • Read BARN SNEEZE aloud. Make the sounds of the wind (remember it’s a strong wind) and the sounds that all the animals make. Act it out!
  • Imagine what other animals sound like when they sneeze. Imagine animals at the zoo. Imagine animals in the wild. What other places can you think of? Make up your own story. (See if you could make it rhyme.)
  • What other sounds do animals make? When they’re happy? When they’re angry? Make a list. Write about one animal’s day and the sounds he makes as he reacts to all that happens.

Download the School Curriculum Activities for Barn Sneeze.

BARN SNEEZE was fun to write and illustrate. One day I went to visit a farm. While snapping photos, I sneezed “AahCHOO!”

What do the animals sound like when they sneeze, I wondered?

And so I imagined. My story is a poem—listen to the rhyme. It begins on a night on the farm when the wind is howling. When the wind blows the barn door open, cow sneezes, “Moo-CHOO.” That sets off a whole chain of animal sneezes, with some surprises as well.

“Large appealing pastel illustrations pair with humorous rhyming text and irresistible animal sounds. Children will enjoy joining in and chanting along with the chorus of barnyard sneezes. A good choice for rowdy story hours.”—Booklist

“Young children will enjoy the silly premise and animal sneezing sounds.”—Horn Book Magazine

“The full-color illustrations fill the pages with humor and will delight young children, who will soon catch on to the pattern and will be reading along.”—Children’s Literature