Milk Rock

Jeff Kaufman, Author, John E. Kaufman, Author Henry Holt & Company $14.95 (1p) ISBN 978-0-8050-2814-0
This cheerfully illustrated allegory reminds successful people to be grateful for their good fortune. When the tale opens, down-on-his-luck Farmer Foster is vainly attempting to pawn his worldly possessions. Exhausted, he takes a nap, and when he awakens, his belongings have turned into a giant blue-gray stone bearing the inscription ``Care for me and I will care for you.'' Farmer Foster obeys, sheltering the rock and polishing it, and the rock miraculously begins to give milk. The Milk Rock proves to be quite a cash cow, and soon there are hired hands to tend the farm and care for the rock while Farmer Foster snoozes. But the farmer's absorption in the good life equals bad farm karma, and the Milk Rock dries up. Elementary readers may require accounting knowledge to understand why ``the bank foreclosed on the house,'' but the basic idea is clear: Farmer Foster shouldn't have taken the rock's gifts for granted. Kaufman (illustrator of Just Around the Corner) uses cut-paper technique to fresh effect, layering his compositions with handcut Avery label paper and coloring them with felt-tip markers. The look is spunky and vivacious. Ages 5-7. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1994
Release date: 09/01/1994
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