When Bird sends restless Dog to the country to find a cow to herd, the result is a comical series of misidentifications and an exhausting trip.
The Stevens sisters (Help Me, Mr. Mutt, 2008, etc.) return with another appealing animal adventure. After Dog mistakenly tries to herd a chicken, a pig and an ill-tempered donkey, he’s rescued by a large brown-and-white animal who takes him back to the city. Only after surprised city dwellers send them back out to the country does Dog discover that the helpful creature is called Cow. The enthusiastic but slightly dim-witted Australian cattle dog and exasperated budgie are generically named but realistically depicted in Stevens’ illustrations, rendered in soft acrylic washes over pencil combined with collage. From vignettes to double-page spreads, they tell the story as unmistakably as the simple text. The animals’ postures express their emotions, while sounds—from “Cluck cluck! Peck peck!” to “Yip! Yip! Yee-haw!” and “Eee-eee-kkk!!”—add read-aloud interest to the pictures. Even the direction of Dog’s travel is clear: from left to right as he goes from city to country, and right to left returning. The circular narrative, which opens with Dog napping, ends with the dog-tired traveler asleep again.
Skillfully told and satisfying, this is sure to delight young listeners in on the joke. (Picture book. 3-7)