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Where's My Cow? Hardcover – September 27, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A passion for language, wordplay and puns bursts from the pages.”
Daily Telegraph --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Sir Terry Pratchett, OBE, was the author of more than 70 books, including the internationally bestselling Discworld series of novels. His books have been adapted for stage and screen, and he was the winner of multiple prizes, including the Carnegie Medal. In January 2009, Pratchett was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his services to literature. Sir Terry, who lived in England, died in March 2015 at the age of 66.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Second edition (September 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060872675
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060872670
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was fifteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe. Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel, The Color of Magic, in 1983. In 1987 he turned to writing full time, and has not looked back since. To date there are a total of 36 books in the Discworld series, of which four (so far) are written for children. The first of these children's books, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal. A non-Discworld book, Good Omens, his 1990 collaboration with Neil Gaiman, has been a longtime bestseller, and was reissued in hardcover by William Morrow in early 2006 (it is also available as a mass market paperback (Harper Torch, 2006) and trade paperback (Harper Paperbacks, 2006). Terry's latest book, Nation, a non-Discworld standalone YA novel was published in October of 2008 and was an instant New York Times and London Times bestseller. Regarded as one of the most significant contemporary English-language satirists, Pratchett has won numerous literary awards, was named an Officer of the British Empire "for services to literature" in 1998, and has received four honorary doctorates from the Universities of Warwick, Portsmouth, Bath, and Bristol. His acclaimed novels have sold more than 55 million copies (give or take a few million) and have been translated into 36 languages. Terry Pratchett lives in England with his family, and spends too much time at his word processor.  Some of Terry's accolades include: The Carnegie Medal, Locus Awards, the Mythopoetic Award, ALA Notable Books for Children, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, Book Sense 76 Pick, Prometheus Award and the British Fantasy Award.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"Where's My Cow?" is a companion book to Terry Pratchett's latest Discworld novel, "Thud!". Or, rather, it is three books in one. It is the children's book that his grace the Duke of Ankh-Morpork Sir Samuel Vimes, Commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, reads without fail every evening to his son, young Sam. And it is the book that Sam Vimes turns the children's story into (after all, why should a city child be read tales about moo-cows and oink-pigs when there are critters like Foul Ole Ron and Coffin' Henry he is much more likely to encounter?). And surrounding these, it is fundamentally a book about Sam Vimes reading a book to his son, a sweet tale of a complex man trying to be a good father. There is enough self-referentiation in this very slender volume to make a post-modern literary critic dizzy and gibber about meta-fiction and meta-meta-fiction. For the Pratchett/Discworld fan, there are a least a few treasures hidden in the illustrations -- such as that portrait of a bearded, black-hatted gentleman on the wall of young Sam's room. And what is that medal worn by Foul Ole Ron? Bugrit!
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Format: Hardcover
No, despite being a product of Terry Pratchett's imagination, I didn't 'love' this one, but it worked well on several levels.

As a kid's book: Taking this one up against a tough audience, a remarkably intelligent and precocious 4-yr old girl, it did very well. She was able to follow the idea of a dad reading a book to his child as the theme of the book, and clearly understood that Dad (in the book) was taking liberties with the text. And that Mom caught Dad taking liberties with the book went over very well (the girl involved laughed so hard she nearly threw up). The illustrations were a big hit with the young lady, and she was particularly taken with the pet dragons.

As an addendum to "Thud!", by the same author. It works, but not quite as well. There is a new artist illustrating "Where's My Cow?", and this artist's style doesn't (I feel) work as well for DiscWorld characters. "Where's My Cow" is fairly central to "Thud", so to see the book it self was somewhat rewarding, but a strict rendition of "Where's my Cow" would have been fairly lame. So liberties were taken to make it more appealing to a general audience and for parents to read to children.

As a father reading this book to my kid: It works well. Any parent can see how well DiscWorld holds up the mirror to life in how Sam Vimes plays with his son as he reads this book. Any parent has suffered through the sixtieth reading of a book written on a two year old level, and many of us have succumb to the desire to make those dreadful children's books a little more interesting. Many of us have also been intensely browbeaten by our wives for this. (Informal research indicates that the desire to take liberties with kids' books is a dad thing, hence the gender specific language).
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Format: Hardcover
I think some of the reviewers who didn't think this was a good child's book probably didn't actually read it to a child. My granddaughter (4) wanted it read over and over. The picture of the "scary" troll was a perfect chance to explain that not everyone who looks scary is a bad guy, that troll is Sgt. Detritus who is a very good guy. After I told her that, she explained it to her cousin, her father, and one of my dogs.

It is true that there is more going on than what a small child sees. But the child does see a Daddy reading a story to his little boy and loves the pictures and the silliness, and the adult can enjoy Sam Vimes attempt to make the "book within a book" more appropriate for a city boy and can appreciate that none of it matters. That what matters is that Sam Vimes, whose life is so incredibly busy that he seldom gets enought to eat or sleep, comes home every night at six, and reads "Where's My Cow?" to his son.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Pratchett's work. I own all of the books he has written or co-written, but have generally avoided the tie-ins that are largely the work of others. I should have avoided this one too.

The text, what there is of it, is almost entirely lifted from "Thud!" and is a "funny once" for those familiar with Discworld. And if you've read "Thud!" you've read this. But it's the illustrations which ruin this work for me. Pratchett has tended to avoid detailed physical descriptions of his characters, leaving it to the reader's imagination. I therefore found it jolting that the depiction of Sam Vimes, in particular, was so completely unlike my own mental image of him. Paul Kidby's illustrations in "The Last Hero" seemed to fit much better.

If you're buying this book thinking it would be good to read to a young child, think again. It is a book about a children's book, not the book itself. The illustrations are lavish, and it would appear that there's lots of detail to savor, but the depiction of Sam Vimes as looking like Buzz Lightyear really was a turnoff to me.

If you have to own "everything Pratchett", then go ahead and buy this too. It's certainly not bad. But I found it rather unfulfilling. If you haven't already, buy Pratchett's "Once More (With Footnotes)" from Amazon. Now THAT is a worthwhile read!
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