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Monday, January 21, 2013

Find a Cow NOW! by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel. Holiday House, Thomas Allen & Son, 2012. $19.95 ages 3 and up

""You're driving me crazy, silly cattle dog. You're supposed to herd cows. Not chairs, not rugs. You need a cow."
"What's a cow?" asked Dog.
"I don't know," replied Bird. "But a cow is not in the city. A cow must be out there in the country. Go! Find a cow NOW!"

The endearing Australian cattle dog who is the main character in this new tale has had it with napping. He is restless: needing to chase, and move, and herd. Bird can't stand it!

Bird knows exactly what Dog needs...and he's not going to find it in the house, or even in the city. So, Bird sends him off to do what he is meant to do...find a cow to herd. Dog takes Bird's advice. As he makes his way out of the city, nobody seems to notice. Soon, he is in the country, right where Bird advised. It takes no time at all for readers to realize that Dog has no idea what a Cow is. His adventures in herding provide lots of laughs for those sharing his story.

His first victim is a chicken, who indignantly lets him know how silly he is. She sends him off to find a COW! A pig won't do either. After a bit of a muddy meeting, he sets his sights on a donkey who gives him the boots...literally! When a lumbering brown and white sympathetic animal offers aid, Dog is only too happy to take advantage of its hospitality. Climbing aboard the broad back, both are soon in the city where no one seems to notice them. Suddenly, it becomes appallingly apparent that this vision is not seen often and mayhem erupts forcing the two out of the city environs, and  back to the quiet of the country. Once there and safe, Dog makes a lovely discovery.

Back at home, Bird is full of questions about Dog's adventure. Dog, however, needs a nap!

Children will be in on the joke and delight in the images that the Stevens sisters create using acrylic paints, pencil and collage. They fill their pages with expressive characters, considerable movement, sepia washed city scenes and the sunny serenity of the country.

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