The Day the Cow Sneezed

The Day the Cow Sneezed

by James Flora
     
 

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"I bet your cow never sneezed a hole in the schoolhouse wall. Our cow did!" Thus begins is one of the funniest, fastest-paced, tallest-tale stories ever told! The fun mounts as absurdity cascades on absurdity, until at the very end one small boy learns that a "teeny-weeny error can grow into a whopping big mistake almost before you can say

Overview

"I bet your cow never sneezed a hole in the schoolhouse wall. Our cow did!" Thus begins is one of the funniest, fastest-paced, tallest-tale stories ever told! The fun mounts as absurdity cascades on absurdity, until at the very end one small boy learns that a "teeny-weeny error can grow into a whopping big mistake almost before you can say Ka-Chow!"

With brilliantly colored, bold and original pictures and a sure use of words that sweep the reader along, James Flora has created a hilariously wise picture book that will bring delighted laughter to the young of any age!

James ("Jim") Flora worked as a commercial artist from the 1940s through the 1980s. He enjoyed a lengthy career, was a lifelong fan of jazz and classical music, and was renowned for creating wild illustrations for Columbia and RCA Victor records in the 1940s and '50s. He also created seventeen books for young readers. The Day the Cow Sneezed, his second book, was first published in 1957. Despite long-standing interest, this is the first time the book has been reprinted. Flora was born in the small town of Bellefontaine, Ohio, in 1914. He attended the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where he met his future wife, artist Jane Sinnicksen. The Floras moved to Connecticut in 1942 when Jim accepted a job at Columbia Records. Flora and Jane went on to have five children. It was after their first child was born that Flora started to create children's books. Flora passed away at his home in Rowayton, Connecticut, in 1998.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"For the opposite of earnest uplift, consider the lively and zany illustrations in James Flora's reissued 1957 tall tale." - The Wall Street Journal

"Kids will be swept away by the madcap hullabaloo." - Elizabeth Bird, Time Out New York Kids

"Straight-up pandemonium is what occurs in this story. Madcap zaniness abounds." - Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Our young narrator relates the lengthy but absurdly funny chain of events that follow the sneeze of Floss, the family cow. Shivering in the barn, Floss sneezes, "KA-CHOW!" This blows a sleeping mouse out of the hay. The cat misses catching it and lands on the goat, who bowls over the pig, who knocks the mailman into a motorcycle policeman. He falls off, the goat falls on, and they are off on a wild ride that involves a steamroller that goes through the schoolhouse wall. It then causes chaos in town, the zoo, the park, and sends the Ferris wheel careening. Among other things, it sets of a truck full of fireworks. In the end, all is sorted out, except for the unhappy result for our narrator's brother, whose carelessness has set it all off. There is nothing old fashioned about this fifty-three-year-old slapstick comedy. Alternating limited color and black and white double-page scenes are evidence of the changing technology of printing but not of comic story telling. Flora introduces many of his characters on the end pages, preparing the reader for the foolishness inside. They are sketchily created atop cut pink and green paper and assembled in hectic combinations. The pages following the Ferris wheel are particularly wild. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781592700974
Publisher:
Enchanted Lion Books
Publication date:
09/01/2010
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 11.40(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author


James Flora: James ("Jim") Flora was a famous commercial artist from the 1940s through the 1980s. He wrote and illustrated 17 books for young readers, starting with The Fabulous Firework Family in 1955. The Day the Cow Sneezed, his second book, was published in 1957. This is the first time the book has been reprinted.

Flora was born in the small town of Bellefontaine, Ohio, in 1914. "At that time," he recalled, "there were no televisions, radios, dishwashers, or jet planes. There were a lot of horses but very few automobiles." He attended the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where he met his future wife, artist Jane Sinnicksen. The Floras moved to Connecticut in 1942 when Jim accepted a job in the art department of Columbia Records.

Flora and Jane had five children. "Jane and I loved children," said Flora, "and together we welcomed each of them with cheers for the bright new life we had created. What we had really done, however, was to create an efficient new testing panel for my stories. Most nights when I put the children to bed I would make up stories for them. Whatever would pop into my mind became the basis for a bedtime tale. I would always know that I had the ingredients of a book when my children would ask me to repeat a story."

Flora enjoyed a lengthy career as a commercial illustrator for magazines, newspapers, advertising, and books. He was a lifelong fan of jazz and classical music and was renowned for creating wild illustrations for Columbia and RCA Victor records in the 1940s and '50s. He also created hundreds of fine art paintings, sketches, and woodcuts.

Flora passed away at his home in Rowayton, Connecticut, in 1998.

Information about Flora's life and artistic work can be found at JimFlora.com.

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