Debut author Lamb retells the true story of a calf rescue from the point of view of the calf in this action-packed picture book.
A newly born calf is hungry for milk, but every time she approaches her mother, the cow butts her back into a cold creek. Luckily for the calf, the man in the big blue overalls arrives on the scene and rescues her from the creek. The man’s first thought is to take the calf to her mother, but when he sees the cow push her calf back into the creek, he gets another idea: He’ll take the calf back to the barn with him on his four-wheeler. Chased by the angry mother cow, the man with the big blue overalls and the calf only barely escape. But soon the calf is greeted by the man’s wife, who gives her a name: Ebony. After getting warm and fed, things are looking up for Ebony, but her mother still doesn’t want her, so the man hatches a plan. When another cow’s calf dies, he attaches the dead calf’s hide to Ebony, so she smells like the other calf. The friendly cow adopts Ebony, but Ebony never forgets the man with the big blue overalls and his kind wife. Based on Lamb’s experiences with her husband in raising Ebony, the story offers a more domestic perspective on animal rescue, and animal lovers will be instantly engaged by Ebony’s situation. The vocabulary may be challenging to beginning readers, and the text is on the long side for lap reading, but independent readers not quite ready for chapter books will be hooked by the action and the New Zealand farm setting. The serviceable illustrations by Obina are attractive, but three are repeated, an odd decision given the relatively short length of the book. A photograph of the author with real-life Ebony in the end pages adds authenticity.
A charming, high-action farm story sure to be a hit with budding animal rescuers.