Cow Says Meow

HMH. Mar. 2021. 32p. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780358423348.
K-Gr 2–A young, dark-skinned child and a wide-eyed cow greet readers on the opening page with the simple phrase, “Cow says...”; the next page delivers an inexplicable “Meow.” The child, not amused, turns to the cow and exclaims, “What a copycat.” On the next page is a cat who does not “meow” but outrageously emits a “neigh.” Each page builds on the next as the puns and wordplay grow ever more absurd. Readers witness an owl woofing, a dog clucking, and a pig saying “hi.” The book is cleverly constructed with the left side always featuring the boy and the confused animal, and the right one introducing the next creature about to utter the wrong sound. Scott’s illustrations are a combination of photorealistic textures and energetic cartoon boldness, while his depiction of the increasingly frustrated young boy is exactly on target.
VERDICT Children will be delighted with the combination of onomatopoeia and puns in this amusing read-aloud that will introduce a new generation to witty wordplay.

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