Hurd's (Mama Don't Allow) pleasingly quirky tale opens on a full-bleed spread of a peaceful barnyard. But on the next spread, Hurd renders a chaotic scene: the word "Kaboom!" cuts through a jagged outline of the farm as "pigs fell over " and "chickens jumped ten feet," the outer edge surrounded by white space where the chickens fly helter skelter. By the time the farmer appears in his nightshirt, "where his Moo Cow should have been there was just a patch of burned grass." A turn of the page reveals the comical image of Moo Cow jumping over the moon? Well, yes, while tethered to the back of a space ship, having been "cownapped by a Space Cowboy named Zork." Photocollage elements re-create the galaxy on the way to Zork's farm on Planet 246, where Moo Cow becomes the featured attraction at the Inter-Galactic Rodeo for an audience of green-faced, antennaed aliens. With Zork astride her ("Giddyup!"; "Git along, little dogie!"), the cow refuses to cooperate, yet Zork's onslaught of insults spur her on to grab the fellow as her dancing partner. In a series of spot illustrations, she whirls and twirls him on two hooves before catapulting him back to his farm ("Kaboom!") and riding off into the starry night in the fellow's spaceship. Hurd's madcap art features a range of funny facial expressions-on aliens and earthlings alike-and attributes some droll asides to the disgruntled bovine traveler. Fans of farmyards and outer space will enjoy this flight of fancy. Ages 4-8. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
One night on Farmer George's farm there is a "Kaboom!" His Moo Cow has been "cownapped" by a space cowboy and taken to a faraway galaxy in time for the Inter-Galactic Rodeo. Moo Cow's astounding performance at the rodeo causes the aliens to ship her back into space. Lost at first, Moo Cow spots Farmer George's farm, bails out, and with another "Kaboom!" is soon happy to be home again. The slight story is enlivened by the rather rough-hewn illustrations of characters created with heavy black outlines filled with scumbled colors and bits of collages of machines. The design is hectic, filled with action. The three pages of Moo Cow's fandango with swirling red cape is a visual delight. 2003, HarperCollins Publishers,
Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
PreS-Gr 2-A fast-paced, rollicking romp to space and back. "It happened one night, while Farmer George and the pigs and the chickens were sound asleep. KaBOOM!" Unsuspecting Moo Cow is abducted by Zork, an alien cowboy. Hurd winks at "Hey Diddle Diddle" and Goodnight Moon, which was illustrated by his father, as Moo Cow says "Good-bye" to the moon and zooms off to Planet 246, where she is roped into starring in the Inter-Galactic Rodeo. This mild-mannered bovine is no bucking bronco, but Zork's prodding awakens her inner beast. Whirling and twirling, dancing and prancing, she puts on a wild display-so wild and fearsome that she earns herself a one-way ticket back to Farmer George's pasture. The simple text is packed with sound effects that make it a hoot to read aloud. Storytime audiences will "KaBoom," "Sha-Zoom," "Beep Beep," and "Mooooooo" to their hearts' delight. Independent readers will discover clever details in the illustrations, which are mixed-media spreads combining cartoon animals and aliens with computer-manipulated images of lunar landscapes and swirling nebulae. Hosts of alien "zigs," "zickens," and ropin' robots provide a colorful backdrop to the Inter-Galactic Rodeo's main event. Readers can't help cheering for wide-eyed Moo Cow as she gamely travels the galaxy and ultimately parachutes back to her farm, relieved to be "an earthling Moo Cow, home again." An out-of-this-world adventure that's not to be missed.-Eve Ortega, Cypress Library, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
The veteran author of Art Dog (1996), Mama Don't Allow (1987), and other mainstays of the genre, strains to be clever in this slightly amusing caper. Space Cowboy Zork cownaps Farmer George's Moo Cow to a "galaxy far, far away," where she's pressed into service for the Inter-Galactic Rodeo. But Moo Cow's dancing and prancing is deemed too wild, and she's popped into a flying saucer for a quick trip back to her terrestrial barnyard. Young readers are unlikely to linger over either the art, which features an awkward mix of clipped photos and crudely drawn figures (including alien "zigs" and "zickens"), or the "SHAZOOM" and "KABOOM"-laced narrative. Far from making it over the moon, this cow barely gets off the ground. (Picture book. 5-7)