I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo!


A high-stakes adventure and hilarious ode to self-esteem for fans of Oliver Jeffers, Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, and Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken.

Nadine can talk a blue streak, and one day she tells a real whopper: she isn't afraid of anything—no siree! Then her friends call her bluff, and Nadine must enter. . .The Deep. Dark. Woods. Only the woods aren't so scary after all, until the sun sets, that is, and Nadine can't find her friends. What is this boastful ...

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A high-stakes adventure and hilarious ode to self-esteem for fans of Oliver Jeffers, Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, and Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken.

Nadine can talk a blue streak, and one day she tells a real whopper: she isn't afraid of anything—no siree! Then her friends call her bluff, and Nadine must enter. . .The Deep. Dark. Woods. Only the woods aren't so scary after all, until the sun sets, that is, and Nadine can't find her friends. What is this boastful bovine to do? Run around in blind terror? Plummet off a cliff? Crash into a stream? Check, check, and check. But is all lost? Doubtful. After all, she is cow, hear her MOOOOOOOOO!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When readers meet Nadine, she’s positioning herself among her sister cows as possessing superhero-like courage: “ ‘Not lightning?’ asked Starla. ‘Loud noises? A rat?’/ ‘I’m not scared,’ Nadine boasted, ‘of any of that.’ ” Much to Nadine’s surprise, the cows insist she lead them on an expedition to the scary woods. The outing begins well enough, but after dark falls and Nadine’s fear gets the best of her, she turns the lack of witnesses to her advantage: “She was scared of the woods./ But so what? She could smile/ because nobody knew it./ (At least for a while.)” Gordon (Herman and Rosie), whose animal comedy is in the same goofy-yet-expertly-composed vein as Betsy Lewin and Nadine Bernard Westcott, combines watercolor, crayons, and pencil with witty collage touches; in one scene, Nadine and her friends climb a tree made entirely of taped-together strips of green paper. Esbaum’s (I Hatched!) breezy verse lesson, which essentially boils down to “Fake it ’til you make it,” is a refreshing, down-to-earth twist on oft-seen picture-book moralizing. Ages 3–5. Author’s agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. Illustrator’s agent: Charlie Olson, InkWell Management. (May)
From the Publisher
* "A delightful, jaunty romp... both lyrical and funny."—BCCB, starred review

"Esbaum keeps the language simple and light . . . Whimsical but bold drawings give the animals and settings depth and interest. Children will root for Nadine, and adults will appreciate her humble experience."—Library Media Connection

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—In this amusing tale, a cow named Nadine is put to the test when she boasts that she's not afraid of anything. She and her two friends leave the safety and familiarity of the barnyard to explore nearby woods. At first hesitant to venture into the overgrown wooded area, Nadine quickly discovers much to love about the different surroundings. She spots a bird's nest, tastes blackberries, smells a pinecone, and notices tiny paw prints. When the sun sets, she becomes separated from her friends Starla and Annette while she inspects a cave. Nadine becomes frightened by sounds, shadows, and a tickling on her rump. Fearing a bear is after her, she gallops off a cliff and lands in a creek, where she is spotted by her lost pals, who believe that Nadine has come to their rescue. Written in rhyme, Esbaum's comical and suspenseful plot keeps readers interested. A mix of watercolor, pencil, crayon, and collage, Gordon's spirited and delightful artwork is full of activity and gives Nadine a winsome personality. Readers will chuckle when Annette and Starla boost Nadine up to look in the bird's nest and will laugh when they spot her swinging Tarzan-style from a tree. This story could spark discussions among children about their own fears and would be a worthy read-aloud.—Lynn Vanca, Freelance Librarian, Akron, OH
Kirkus Reviews
Esbaum presents a wobbly story about a cow of wobbly confidence (though no shortness of bluster). In this rhymed production, Nadine and her bovine buddies, Starla and Annette, live on a farm at the edge of the woods. Nadine brags to them that she fears nothing, not even the woods. Full of wind and sure her friends will decline, Nadine suggests a forest excursion—only to find them willing: "Well, moooove it, Nadine," Starla tells her. Tentatively, Nadine takes a step, then another, and soon enough they are tootling about in the woods having a good time. The sun starts setting; Starla and Annette grow uneasy. Nadine has become comfortable in her Supercow mantle, choosing to dawdle in a cave that has caught her eye. When she emerges, the others have gone, night is on her, and so are the heebie-jeebies. When her tail tickles her rump, off she goes, driven by stark terror over a cliff. She falls into a handy pond, where her friends handily are wandering around lost. A heroine once more, Nadine now gives night tours of the woods. Readers will feel that something isn't right here, and it's not just Gordon's distractingly overbusy photo-collage artwork. It's why Nadine would eagerly now lead night walks even as the text expressly tells them she's still afraid of the woods. Forget Helen Reddy. Nadine is a poster cow for self-mortification. (Picture book. 3-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803735248
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 5/15/2014
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 475,654
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Lexile: AD340L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jill Esbaum is the brave author of Tom's Tweet, Stanza, I Hatched! and many other books for kids. A lifelong lover of stories and animals, Jill is now a full-time writer. Growing up in rural Iowa, where she still lives, Jill often went camping with her family—though none of their trips were as exciting as Nadine's!

Gus Gordon grew up on a farm in the mountains, went to agricultural college, and even worked on a cattle farm. Eventually, he realized he loved drawing cows (and other things) more than he loved living with them, so he bravely turned to illustration. Gus now lives with his wife and three kids in Sydney, Australia.

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