A COW’S ALFALFA-BET by Woody Jackson


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 7
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Vermont artist Jackson, best known for the distinctive cows decorating cartons of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, strews a string of rural landscapes with similarly eyeless, stylized Holsteins in this series of New England farmscapes. A one-word caption beneath each small, but powerful watercolor provides spare commentary that ranges from literal (“Barn,” “Kittens”) to poetic (the most widely-angled landscape is labeled “Xanadu”); in an afterword, Jackson frets about the decline of traditional dairy farming. Only farm buildings or the occasional tractor betray a human presence here. Though the black-and-white ruminants remain the same, other figures or features sometimes add an element of surprise by taking on unusual colors; the “Road” is dark red, for instance, and a barn seen through “Snow” is orange and lemon-yellow. The pictures in this artist’s showcase are tableaus that tell no stories, but reflective viewers may catch a hint of the slow rhythms of a vanishing way of life. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 2003
ISBN: 0-618-16599-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2003