KISS THE COW! by Phyllis Root
Kirkus Star


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 6
Email this review


A refreshing, original American tall tale. Root (All for the Newborn Baby, p. 1431, etc.) is a master of storytelling: with simple language, predictable rhythms and repetition, and flawless pacing, this story begs to be read aloud, again and again. Mama May had a magic cow, lovely Luella, whose milk never failed. The secret was that Mama May sang to her to get enough milk to feed her many children; sang again to stop the flow; then thanked Luella with a kiss on her velvety brown nose. Mama May’s daughter Annalisa “wasn’t the youngest, and she wasn’t the oldest, but she was the most curious and the most stubborn.” So despite her mother’s warnings, Annalisa just had to milk that cow. Annalisa sang the songs and milked the cow—but she didn’t kiss the cow. When Luella did not give milk, Mama May knew whom to suspect. Even though Mama May patiently requested, and the hungry siblings begged, Annalisa, who was as stubborn as she was curious, refused to kiss the cow. Hillenbrand’s (Down by the Station, 1999, etc.) illustrations are of mixed dry media: colored pencil, chalk, and ink layered on vellum, a technique that creates a richness and depth of field and gives an almost marbleizing texture to the figures. He presents a variety of visual perspectives, including sweeping landscapes and homey indoor vignettes. And his immense attention to detail is gratifying, portraying the humor and pathos of the story. A satisfying treat—from the front endpapers, which depict a multitude of children jumping from a hayloft to the final endpapers of satiated faces with milk mustaches. Certain to be a hit with kids and adults, this deserves a big smooch. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-7636-0298-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2000


ChildrenANYWHERE FARM by Phyllis Root
by Phyllis Root
ChildrenONE NORTH STAR by Phyllis Root
by Phyllis Root
ChildrenSNOWY SUNDAY by Phyllis Root
by Phyllis Root


ChildrenFIRST STAR by Will Hillenbrand
by Will Hillenbrand
ChildrenI'M A DUCK by Eve Bunting
by Eve Bunting
ChildrenSHARE, BIG BEAR, SHARE! by Maureen Wright
by Maureen Wright