Una Belle Townsend, Author, Yolanda Powell, Joint Author, Bob Artley, Illustrator , illus. by Bob Artley. Pelican $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58980-098-4

A "stubborn, wild" Hereford cow is the star of this middling tale, based on an actual incident that occurred on an Oklahoma farm in 1949. Just after the vet gives an ailing Grady a shot, the agitated, 1200-pound cow leaps through an opening "no bigger than a newspaper page" into an empty silo. The vet advises Grady's owner to keep her comfortable until the cow can get herself out. But four days later, the cow is still there. Artley's (Once Upon a Farm) illustrations of various people's suggestions on how to free Grady—arriving by letter and telegram—lighten up the proceedings, but mostly the pace lags. Finally the farm editor of a Denver newspaper arrives with the solution, which gets less verbal and visual footage than the farfetched suggestions preceding it. Kids who would have liked to view the step-by-step process of preparing Grady with grease and assembling the volunteers who push and pull her up a wooden ramp and squeeze her through the opening may feel shortchanged. Instead, the narrative comes across as wordy and stiff. Artley's good humored, vividly colored cartoon art, featuring comically hyperbolic expressions on the faces of the characters—human and bovine alike—provide the entertainment. Ages 5-8. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 02/10/2003
Release date: 02/01/2003
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