Meow Said the Cow

Emma Dodd. Scholastic/Levine, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-545-31861-7
When an orange cat gets fed up with the noise on the farm, the emerald-eyed grump proves that he's more of a "familiar" than an ordinary barn cat: "for he loved casting spells and doing magic." The results of his trickery? When the pig tries to get his oink on, all that comes out is "cluck, cluck, cluck!" and baffled chickens produce nothing but oinks. With barking sheep, a baaing dog, and a meowing cow, it's pure chaos. Dodd's (I Don't Want a Cool Cat) rhymes bounce along blithely ("The horse was quacking, the ducks were neighing—/ nobody knew quite what they were saying!"), combined with bold digital illustrations of alarmed-looking animals with textural fur, wool, and feathers that bleed past their thick outlines. The cat, who watches the hubbub with quiet bemusement, finally gets his just deserts and, "With a flick of his tail, the spells were undone." While the cat's use of magic is a bit inscrutable (and the results clearly backfire), the gag of mixed-up animal sounds will likely keep readers laughing until the cows come home. Ages 4–8. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/04/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
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