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The Cow Who Wouldn't Come Down

The Cow Who Wouldn't Come Down

by Paul Brett Johnson, Paul Brett Johnson (Illustrator)

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Miss Rosemary knows her cow, Gertrude, has a mind of her own. But when Gertrude takes up a new hobby, Miss Rosemary is faced with a problem: how do you milk a flying cow?


Miss Rosemary knows her cow, Gertrude, has a mind of her own. But when Gertrude takes up a new hobby, Miss Rosemary is faced with a problem: how do you milk a flying cow?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Johnson's impressively polished first book tells a merry and mirthful story of a strong-willed cow with a singular ability. Despite the commands and cajoling of the elderly, equally resolute Miss Rosemary (``in something of a tizzy''), this brazen bovine insists on flying through the air. After unsuccessful--though hilarious--attempts to apprehend the animal with a fishing rod and a lasso, Miss Rosemary devises a plan to bring Gertrude back to earth--a scheme that rivals the gift of the Trojan horse for sheer cunning. In a waggish finale, the now-earthbound Gertrude prepares to indulge in another droll display of un-bovine behavior. Johnson's crisply defined acrylic paintings, capturing the flavor of his native Kentucky Appalachians, offer a passel of amusing images--Gertrude perched on a treetop, trying to pass for a bird (``It's a known fact cows don't murp. They moo,'' grumbles Miss Rosemary); a foiled Miss Rosemary flying through the air, only her skirt and duck-printed bloomers visible. The flap copy states that Johnson is working on two subsequent books: youngsters are apparently in for further treats from this talented author-artist. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)
Publishers Weekly
In a starred review, PW called this story of a brazen bovine who insists on flying "an impressively polished first book" and "a merry and mirthful story." Ages 3-6. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-- `` `It's a known fact cows don't fly,' '' says Miss Rosemary, but apparently Gertrude has not heard. She's the picture of bovine grace as she glides over the farm cutting figure eights, and simply radiates contentment. Miss Rosemary, on the other hand, is concerned about what the neighbors will think and wonders how she could possibly milk a flying cow. With dogged determination, the elderly woman sets about bringing Gertrude down. After several nearly disastrous attempts, she begins a subtler campaign by bringing in a substitute ``cow.'' Johnson's high-flying original tale will have preschool listeners rolling off their sit-upons. The only question is who will be their favorite character--the uniquely talented and territorial Gertrude or the wily Miss Rosemary. His full-color, acrylic paintings are the perfect match for the humorous story. Executed in pastel tones with backgrounds reminiscent of Seurat, these fine illustrations reveal the changing moods and gradual dishevelment of this fine country lady and the bliss experienced by her cow. Youngsters will enjoy noticing Miss Rosemary's goose and pig, whose expressions range from perplexity to aggravation to satisfaction to complete amazement. A virtuoso debut! --Jeanne Marie Clancy, Upper Merion Township Library, King of Prussia, PA
Ilene Cooper
Here's a delightful piece of nonsense that has the advantage of just the right art to illustrate the fun. Miss Rosemary doesn't know what the neighbors are going to say; her cow, Gertrude, has begun flying. Calling her doesn't get Gertrude down, even offering her alfalfa doesn't do it. So, deciding to trick the fool cow down, Miss Rosemary sews a fake cow that she pretends has snagged the job of farm cow. That gets Gertrude's attention all right; she finally takes a dive and smashes the fake cow flat. But just when Miss Rosemary thinks she's got Gertrude back in the bovine business, Gertrude spots a tractor, and off she goes again. Johnson milks every bit of fun out of this story featuring an insouciant cow, an ornery old lady, and a life-size stuffed replacement romping their way through eye-catching acrylic artwork that shows finesse as well as fun. Kids will see themselves in Gertrude, not wanting to stay home, not wanting to come home, but determined no one else will take their place. A terrific debut from a new author/illustrator.

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.79(w) x 11.33(h) x 0.35(d)
580L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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