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Fair Cow Hardcover – August 1, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 2–Effie wants to go to the state fair. "She dreamed of being beautiful, of billowing blue ribbons and big, bodacious barns." Her friend Petunia Pig helps her prepare for the big day. Effie is told she needs to get in shape, curl her hair, change her spots, paint her hooves, glue on a fake tail, and change her walk. The cow is not totally convinced all this is necessary, but goes along with the transformation. When she gets to the fair, she sees all the other cows and thinks they are more beautiful than even her new, improved self. She is disheartened, and on the long walk to the show barn she reverts to her old habits, such as frolicking in the breeze (messes the hair), eating grass (turns teeth green), and drinking from the pond (bloats the belly). Soon her makeover is undone. Despite that, Effie returns home sporting a blue ribbon for Best Milk. The acrylic on paper illustrations are large, bright, and humorous. The animals' faces are quite expressive, clearly showing the personalities of the snooty cows and the overeager pig. This book will work well for storytimes about barnyard antics and for those always-be-yourself lessons. Besides that, it's just plain fun.Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Effie the cow loves life on her farm, but she also dreams of being a beautiful state-fair prizewinner, and she decides that she needs a makeover. Her friend Petunia the pig helps by putting giant rollers in Effie’s fur and painting her four big hooves bright red. But after Effie gets to the fair and sees all the snooty, glamorous competitors, she feels sick to all four parts of her stomach, and she returns to her old messy grazing habits. A surprise comes in the end when she does get a blue ribbon after all, for “Best Milk.” The bright, cartoon-style acrylic artwork combines many scenes on each page, and children will enjoy all the hilarious scenarios: Petunia with a hairdryer; Effie working out on a treadmill and holding a flowered sunshade. The blend of farmyard and trendy beauty rituals is a winning combination, and some children may even get a few of the more sophisticated puns, including the publications Vanity State Fair and Cowsmo. Preschool-Grade 2. --Hazel Rochman
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1st - 3rd
  • Lexile Measure: 430L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lions (August 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761456848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761456841
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 9.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #668,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Leslie Helakoski grew up in south Louisiana. She is the author of Big Chickens (the Michigan Reads Picturebook for 2007, Great Lakes Great Books Award and a GLBA finalist) and Woolbur (a Book Sense pick for 2008, Florida Reading Assoc. Honor Book and nominee for state book awards in 9 states) Her other books include Big Chickens Fly the Coop, The Smushy Bus and most recently she authored and illustrated Fair Cow. See book trailers for her books, Fair Cow and Big Chickens at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RStUVypk4gQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7Ok7haxPWw&feature=related

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Rodriguez TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My 2 and 4 year olds LOVE this book. It's about Effie, a farm cow who dreams of being a State Fair cow. Her pig friend, Petunia, makes her exercises, fixes her tail, hair, and hooves so she looks just perfect. When Effie arrives at the fair and sees all the "city cows" she gets nervous and ends up in the pasture which un-does all of the fix-ups from Petunia. Effie goes into the ring and serves the judges her milk and wins the blue ribbon just by being herself.

This story is cute! It has a good message about just being who you are. The pictures are fun, colorful, and interesting. The amount of words on each page is just perfect-I don't find myself rushing to read it faster b/c my kiddos are trying to turn the page out of boredom. Overall, this is a great little story!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CJ the Good Aunt VINE VOICE on August 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
For some reason, forgotten in time, my niece and I have been fascinated by cows and cow stories. This one is very easy to read, entertaining and has wonderful illustrations. Since we got it, it has become my niece's favorite book. Most nights she spends with me, either I read it to her or she reads it to me! I highly recommend this book for children probably up to about age 7 or so. They will love to hear/read about Effie's fair dreams and adventures. They will love the bright, colorful illustrations (and so did I!!!)The language is appropriate for younger children. They will fall in love with Effie and her adventure!!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Archer on September 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is such a fun book! Petunia Pig is determined to help Effie get ready for the state fair competition. "...we have to get you in shape," she says. She 'fixes' Effie's hair, her hooves, her tail, and her walk. "Don't forget to smile," Petunia tells her. In the end, Effie just can't resist being herself. Great illustrations accompany the story that shows the importance of being true to who you are, and finding what is special about yourself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paulybrooklyn VINE VOICE on August 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a morality tale that teaches kids to love themselves the way they are. Unfortunately, the story is quite thin and I did not find the illustrations or characters to be particularly interesting. My 2.5 year old was not engaged at all when I tried to read it to her, although she is admittedly a bit young for the story. The whole effort seemed a bit uninspired and generic.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The state fair was coming up soon and Effie began to dream as she pored over the latest issue of Vanity State Fair and Cowsmo. Naturally she was nothing more than a farm cow, but if she could be a "state-fair cow" she'd be in seventh cow heaven. Petunia piggy, her good friend who took was Pork Queen 2000 (blue ribbon no less) knew exactly what to do. No doubt Effie was as pretty as a picture, but Petunia claimed she had "to get gussied up a bit" and get in shape.

Before you know it Effie had her sweat band on and was clomping away on a treadmill. Petunia had her boom box roaring and they were dancing to "Barn Boogie" and working on her balance. Naturally any self-respecting cow had to have her hair done and there was "nothing a few curlers" wouldn't fix. Effie's spots were taken care of, her hooves were painted bright red, her tail was fixed, and Petunia worked on her walk. "Step like this. And don't forget to smile!" Of course when she got to the state fair barn all the cows were udderly gorgeous. Would Effie have a chance against gals with up dos, corn rows, and beautiful purple hooves?

This is a charming, hilarious story about Effie, the cow who was udderly beautiful (almost). This is one of the types of books that can be read time and time again and still bring a smile to any youngster's face. Effie and Petunia were the perfect pair in that one was confident while the other one was clueless, the Ralph and Norton of the farm world. The artwork, needless to say, had that daffy quality that brought life to the story and was very appealing. If you want a few chuckles and a lot of fun, this is one story you might want to consider!
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Length: 4:59 Mins
Neither of the main characters of this book are on the cover. Effie is a cow who reads "Cowsmo" and who dreams of being so beautiful that she can go to the state fair. Petunia is her well-intentioned girlfriend who wants to fix Effie by changing her hair, painting her spots, and dying her hooves. The cows on the cover are the glamorous cows that Effie meets at the state fair.

It's a kids' book, but I felt it was written more for adults. Specifically, it's really written for a middle aged woman who knows she is beautiful, but who has a friend who needs to touch her up, but who is in the process of realizing that she needs to be true to herself.

I would give this five stars, but I really didn't understand the ending. Or, I'm still searching for a deeper meaning than the obvious one that this ending implies.

Pros:
+Excellent artwork
+There are a few people out there who will love this book more than anything
+Inspiring story

Cons:
-Strange
-This story must be an allegory, so what's the allegorical meaning of giving your milk?
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Young children whose older siblings are 4Hers, youth fair participants and "country" kids will be confused and scoff at this story because it is just too far removed from reality. "City" kids will probably grasp the valuable and important lessons a lot quicker, simply because they won't be questioning the credibility of the story.

The lessons are good ones: Be yourself; it's what's inside that counts; figure out what you do best and run with it; don't follow the crowd (or herd...); beauty is more than skin-deep, etc.

A little more reality would have gone a long way towards making this a five-star book: Raising an animal for show is an excellent way to build character and provides a lot of good lessons along the way--a lot of them being along the lines of what this book tries to convey.

Personally, I think it is a little too silly a story for me to feel comfortable gifting it. It would be worth picking it up at the library for a one-time read. The pictures are darling and expressive.
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