Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft"Meet the Cattle!" This "Farm Animals" series has a distinctly personal and almost nostalgic aura: animals and the small farms shown are clean and neat, some buildings are of stone, family members are workingit's definitely not agribusiness! In each volume, ample pages bordered in a design of the animal's footprints offer engaging color photographs like one here of brown and white cows grazing in a rocky field under a mountain. Ten sections present topics ranging from descriptions of breeds through feeding, training, and caring for the animals to life cycles and history. Cattle breeds include Angus, Ayrshire, and Brahman; readers will learn that all domestic cattle derive from wild aurochs, tamed about 8,500 years ago. A two-page spread illustrates cattle features: eyes, noses, teeth, feet, and tails. Caring for cattle involves providing vaccinations and protecting them from poisonous plants, predators, and heat stress. Future farmers and city kids will be interested to discover that the Egyptian goddess Hathor was a cow and that Hindu beliefs include a sacred cow; a short retelling introduces readers to a Norwegian legend about a cow who helped create the gods, Earth, and the sky. For inquiring minds, a short quiz and two recommended books point to further research, while a "Frequently Asked Questions" section answers queries like "What is mad cow disease?" Unusual for the variety of information presented, the freshness of its graphic appeal, and recognition of the antiquity and traditions of animal husbandry, this series is an exceptional value for its reasonable price.
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