THE SILVER COW by Susan Cooper


A Welsh Tale
by & illustrated by
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Hutton's grave, spare, muted watercolors--with their soft expanses of Welsh mountain meadows, lake, and sky--nicely suit this grave, measured, quiet tale. But whether the ensemble will attract many children of picture-book age is doubtful. The story centers on "mean," niggardly farmer Gwilym Hughes; his harp-playing son Huw, prevented from going to school by his father's penury; and the silver cow sent out of the lake by the magic people, the Tylwyth Teg, in response to Huw's harp-playing. The silver cow mates with farmer Hughes' black Welsh cattle--"and every calf to which she gave birth was silver-gleaming as herself, and grew up to give milk as marvelous as her own." Farmer Hughes grows rich, but no more inclined to let Huw go to school. And when the silver cow grows too old to give milk, he doesn't hesitate to call the butcher--whereupon a voice comes from the lake, "sweet as the song of a lark rising, but cold with rage," calling the silver cows home. Farmer Hughes is ruined, and Huw sets off--pausing at the lake, where the surface is "starred now with the broad floating blossoms of white water-lilies. . . . " Quite lovely, and even stirring, as pictured--for the occasional, dreamier child.
Pub Date: April 21st, 1983
ISBN: 0689715129
Page count: 36pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1983


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