Floramel and Esteban

Overview

Well-suited for young readers who hover between beginning and intermediate books, this chapter book is about Floramel, a very lonely and bored cow. Rafie, the boy who milks her once a day, is her only company. He sings her calypso songs and talks to her in the morning before he goes off to work in the fish market. While Rafie is away, Floramel tries to sing the calypso songs, but she can't make the same sounds. But excitement comes when a flock of cattle egrets arrives. The egrets leave Lazy Esteban behind to ...

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Overview

Well-suited for young readers who hover between beginning and intermediate books, this chapter book is about Floramel, a very lonely and bored cow. Rafie, the boy who milks her once a day, is her only company. He sings her calypso songs and talks to her in the morning before he goes off to work in the fish market. While Rafie is away, Floramel tries to sing the calypso songs, but she can't make the same sounds. But excitement comes when a flock of cattle egrets arrives. The egrets leave Lazy Esteban behind to keep Floramel company and relieve her of the horrid insects on her body. With the help of Esteban and a handful of conch shells, Floramel learns how to make her own calypso music and how she might surprise Rafie with it. This story, along with Charles Robinson's charming illustrations, is an excellent way to show the symbiotic relationships between animals. As an added bonus, Floramel and Esteban comes with its own version of the song "Calypso Cow," with which children can play and sing along.

A lonely cow and a lazy cattle egret form a convenient partnership which soon evolves into something quite special.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
Floramel, an Ayrshire cow, was lonely; she was the only cow in the tropical grassy meadow on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea. She wondered what the world was like beyond her meadow. The only company that she had was Precious Violet and her son, Rafie. When Rafie came out to milk her, he would sing to Floramel who enjoyed the melodies. One day, a flock of cattle egrets stop in the meadow while on their way to find a cattle ranch. An egret named Esteban is elected to stay behind with Floramel. Esteban has a reputation of being lazy and of complaining. An interesting friendship develops between the two despite their personalities. Floramel with some help from Esteban discovers her talent which is making music by playing the conch shells. Floramel's world changes with some ups and downs as the story takes some interesting twists and turns between the characters. There is a satisfying ending to the story and some beautiful illustrations that work subtly with the plot. This is a wonderful story to share with others. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—Floramel, a cow, lives in a meadow near a cliff overlooking the sea. She is lonely, and curious about the world. When a flock of cattle egrets lands near her looking for a place to feed, she talks the leader into assigning a bird to her as her grooming companion. Esteban stays behind and describes the world beyond, and gradually a close friendship develops. Esteban even brings a conch shell to his companion and she learns to make music. After he migrates with his flock, the cow becomes listless, abandons playing the shells, and grows quite thin waiting for her friend. When he returns without the flock and the two are reunited, Floramel begins to play her music again, and the townspeople gather to hear. As word spreads, the musical cow is declared a national treasure. The text consists of a sequence of exchanges between the creatures and features characters that exhibit human traits such as concern for others. The theme of friendship will resonate with children, and reluctant readers will find the short chapters and predictable-yet-satisfying ending appealing. Full-page, black-and-white sketches begin each chapter.—Margaret R. Tassia, Millersville University, PA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571316882
  • Publisher: Milkweed Editions
  • Publication date: 7/7/2009
  • Pages: 80
  • Age range: 7 - 11 Years
  • Lexile: 660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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