FICTION

Cowie

S. & S./Paula Wiseman Bks. Jan. 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534421745.
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PreS–Cowie is a donkey who longs to be a cow. He thinks cows have it much better than donkeys: “No one rode them or made them carry things, or made them pull things around.” Cowie reasons that if he spends enough time with the cows and acts like them, he’ll surely become one. His friends Mouse and Duck take turns pulling on his lead rope, and his “OOM” finally becomes “MOO.” Some of the text may be confusing for young prereaders. Mouse and Duck occasionally speak in backwards words (“KAEUQS” instead of “Squeak”). The text explains, “But it didn’t make Cowie feel better because everyone knows Q has to come before U for it to come out right.” The accompanying illustration shows a chick pointing to a list of misspelled words. This concept will likely be too complicated for the intended audience, most of whom cannot yet read. The true strength of this title is in the charming and humorous watercolors.
VERDICT Recommended for its illustrations and different take on the grass is always greener cliché.

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