A lost little calf finds his way home in this picture book based on a true story.
As soon as playful calf Huck arrives at his new home on a Vermont dairy farm, he is distracted by a butterfly and gives chase, leaving his pasture behind. When his worried human family comes after him, “carrying ropes and shouting his name,” Huck runs away in a panic, through a “busy street,” over a bridge, into a cemetery and a forest, and up a mountain trail. Scared and lonely, Huck falls asleep under the stars. But when dawn comes, he remembers the parting advice he’d been given by a wise old cow, realizes that he knows what to do, and is soon back in his pasture, being welcomed by “friendly cows…gentle people” and his own beloved brother. Billings Farm, featured in this well-told story, is a real place. Veteran author/illustrator Rodanas (The Blind Hunter, 2003, etc.) explains in an introductory note that she was inspired by the adventures of the real Huck—an American milking Devon steer (part of an endangered breed of cattle)—who arrived at the farm as a week-old calf. The time Rodanas spent at Billings shows: Pairing her expressive text with beautifully rendered, realistic, double-spread and single-page illustrations in pencil and watercolor, she brings to life green Vermont landscapes, sunny and starry skies, and farm and forest creatures.
A thoroughly engaging animal tale that delivers a message of self-reliance with visual and narrative warmth.