With the planet heating up, the animals confer and decide that cow farts and burps are the cause; after considerable time and effort, they fit the cows with “cowtalytic converters”—perhaps too late.
Whimsical collage illustrations add just the right note to this allegory. Protesting animals carry banners and signs in unrecognizable languages that might just represent actual animal sounds. Investigating dolphins take to the air in curious flying machines. Colorful surgeonfish equipped with stethoscopes and hypodermic needles offer to operate. See-through cows have mechanical insides. And the suited negotiators, seated in comfortable chairs, have the self-satisfied look of bigwigs everywhere, in spite of their animal heads. Roy tells her story engagingly, playing with sound and language. Americans may not be familiar with the phrase “went doolally” but will enjoy the pileup of animal noises “shouting and babbling. / Cackling, clattering and chattering. / Giggling, gurgling and gobbling,” and on for three more lines. The flamingo suggests, “The cows could eat GM foods / low in gases (Gas Moderate) / to reduce air pollution.” The translation of this French import is delightful.
A tongue-in-cheek look at global warming whose satire will probably go over the heads of young readers, but its idea, pictorial execution and mordant humor will certainly amuse teens and adults. (Picture book. 10 & up)