cover image Manny's Cows: The Niagara Falls Tale

Manny's Cows: The Niagara Falls Tale

Suzy Becker, Author, Suzy Becker, Illustrator . HarperCollins $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-054152-1

Combining an udderly ridiculous scenario and real bovine factoids, Becker (All I Need to Know I Learned from My Cat ) churns out a comic adventure inspired by a true incident. Farm boy Manny can never take a real vacation—not with 500 dairy cows to tend. Or can he? Armed with let's-go enthusiasm and the help of head cow Bossy, Manny loads up his herd for a bus tour to Niagara Falls. The cows have a sing-along, Flossie gets bus-sick, and Buttercup enjoins "Are we there yet?" as accompanying fact boxes provide details on how cows constantly spit up the cud they chew. The hilarious hoofers overwhelm a rest stop and don slickers for a view of the Falls before going on a gonzo shopping spree in the attraction's Official Gift Shop. Luckily, Bossy and Buttercup find an ingenious way to help Manny settle the damages. Becker's ink-and-watercolor illustrations, peppered with funny asides and thought bubbles, exude a zany, comic-book energy. The true and outlandish bits of the story will likely keep young readers laughing while they ponder cow behavior. As an interesting source note, a flap-copy item spotlights how a cow named Bossy Simms crossed the Falls to Goat Island in 1860. Ages 4-8. (June)