Bessie might not be the best cow at hide-and-seek, but she’s certainly enthusiastic.
One regular day on the farm, Farmer Ted starts counting his herd, but Bessie thinks it’s the start of a game of “cowhide-and-seek.” Her first hiding place (behind a black-and-white cat) moves; “Bessie moooved, too.” Farmer Ted finishes counting his cows and realizes Bessie is missing; where is she? She’s found a somewhat better place to hide, but the ice cream vendor’s cart she ducks behind is, like the cat, smaller than she is. When a little boy points her out, she tries to tell him not to give her hiding place away to Farmer Ted, but he doesn’t understand “Moo.” She finds a truly questionable hiding place behind a soccer ball at a match, but the ref tweets his whistle at her. With each new hiding place, Farmer Ted acquires more helpers; but Bessie stays ahead of him. Can she find the perfect hiding place? Bessie’s “hiding places” in Dillard’s debut are so lacking in concealment that some young listeners might be confused. She is developmentally consistent with very young children, but those old enough to get the joke will have moved on past that moment. Pauwels’ endearing cartoon illustrations almost make up for the confusion. Farmer Ted and most of those who help him hunt are white, but background characters are diverse.
Mooove along unless you are desperate for more cow tales. (Picture book. 3-6)