English / Australia
I am cow, hear me moo!
Esbaum, Jill (text)
Gordon, Gus (illus.)
Melbourne, Vict.: Penguin / Viking, 2014. –
(Parallel edition: New York: Dial Books for Young Readers / Penguin, 2014)
Courage – Fear – Boasting – Darkness – Self-confidence – Picture book
Being brave and adventurous is usually considered a good thing, but boasting to all of your friends that you fear nothing at all, may take things a bit far. Nadine, the purportedly fearless cow, gets the comeuppance for her bragging when her scaredy-cow companions Annette and Starla take her up on her word to explore the nearby forest. The three friends’ wild adventures are recounted in witty, tongue-in-cheek verses that naturally lend themselves to being read aloud. The busy mixed-media illustrations playfully combine watercolours, pencils, crayons and collage to create hilarious pictures with surprising visual elements. With just a few lines, they manage to capture all the text’s nuances and the bragging bovine’s buoyancy. The cross-continental cooperation between American author Jill Esbaum and Australian illustrator Gus Gordon has resulted in an entertaining picture book about a heroine whose lack of modesty will endear her to readers of all ages. (Age: 4+)