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Children's LiteratureThere actually were several cows on one of Admiral Byrd's expeditions to the South Pole. That fact has inspired this jolly tale of cow adventure. In 1933, Emmadine the cow, anxious to have something exciting to tell her grandcows, volunteers for the trip. After seasick weeks, she arrives at "the coldest place on earth." Clad in socks, a scarf, and an "udder muff," Emmadine spots seals, petrels, whales, and has an amazing encounter with penguins. Milking time is not quite the same in a place where the sun never goes down in the summer. She then cheers the others through the storms and dark of the endless winter. Finally, homesick, she is happy to return home. Over and over, Emmadine has mused, "Oh, wouldn't the grandcows be amazed!" And of course, they are. Slavin successfully mixes naturalistic settings with the fairy-tale events in double-page textured acrylic paintings that make us shiver with icicle-producing cold and get our feet tapping as the Emmadine leads the cows dancing the "hoochy-coochy." There is even a touch of patriotic sentimentality as she stands on the ship's deck beneath the American flag saying goodbye to a group of penguins and seals, then is greeted by crowds and by the President of the United States. The pages exude good feeling and just plain fun. 2004, Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz