Prudence is not like the rest of the herd.
With a pink curly pompadour, Prudence doesn’t look like any of the other cows on the farm. They’re all full-time cows; Prudence is not. Sometimes Prudence is a scientist (reading books on the science of milking) or an architect (building a castle out of salt licks). When she overhears others saying she’ll never be part of the herd, she tries unsuccessfully to behave the way they do. “If only I could make them like me for me,” she laments before inspiration strikes, and she spends the night using her know-how to make gadgets for other members of her herd: a calf-counter, a mobile umbrella, and a guitar for the hipster bull. Grateful for the gifts, the herd accepts Prudence in all her part-time cow glory. Shaffer’s problematic cow tale sends a mixed message: individuality is all well and good—if you work twice as hard to please those in the majority who don’t accept you. Laberis’ scratchy, colorful, digitally created illustrations are expressive, bright, and full of funny details; but they can’t rescue Prudence’s poor excuse for a parable.
A well-meant effort, but not outstanding in its field…er pasture. (Picture book. 3-8)