From Publishers Weekly
Like a vaudeville show with nary a weak act, Shertle's (William and Grandpa) collection of poems about cows abounds with tongue-in-cheek spoofs, verbal acrobatics and lyrical songs that are aptly illustrated by debut artist Schaffer's wry cast of brown and purple cows. With understated grace, "Shelter" describes a cow moving "heavily toward sheltering/ aspen.../ At dawn/ a newborn calf/ follows closely at her/ side, his small hooves denting the wet/ prairie." In "Taradiddle," Shertle tells of a cow who, after a famous adventure, "never tried/ to jump again,/ but gazed for hours at the moon." In "April 1," she imagines a day when "the sun/ came up wearing/ a mustache" and a "frisky white [cow] gave vanilla/ milk shakes." With wide-brushed oil paintings, Schaffer is deft at showing both the beauty of milking time (when a cow's "jaws move, chewing/ the good grain, blowing clouds/ of warm breath into the melting/ morning") and the humor of a bespectacled schoolmarm cow teaching calves the difference between the words "cow" and "bough," "moo" and "through." By turns funny and tender, cheeky and thoughtful, this collection turns an unlikely subject into Grade A fare. All ages.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 6?This pleasant pairing of poetry and accompanying illustrations looks at cows from many perspectives. The 15 selections vary in style and character. Some are humorous, playing with the word "moo" for example, while others present various interpretations of a cow's-eye view of the world. The bold paintings in broad strokes of bright fauvist colors capture the many moods of the verses. Some convey the cows' gentle dignity while others are affectionately amusing, as in the portrait of just a snout, tongue, ears, and eyes gazing longingly through two slats of a fence at the "greener grass" on the other side. These cows are most appealing, from the one who yearns for the greener grass to the enigmatic star of "Taradiddle," depicted gazing for hours at the moon, which, however, "She never tried/to jump again." The book will probably be most useful in the classroom. Not an essential purchase, but fun.?Sue Norris, Rye Free Reading Room, NY
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.