cover image The Cow Buzzed

The Cow Buzzed

Andrea Zimmerman. HarperCollins Publishers, $15 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-06-020808-0

Old MacDonald meets Dr. Mom in this husband-and-wife team's jovial lesson on how we catch cold. A bee visits a farm, sneezes and passes his cold to the cow. The cow catches not only the sneeze and the cough, but the bee's buzz as well. Chaos reigns as each farm animal ``catches'' another animal's noise and the confused farmer feeds them the wrong foods. Finally, the wise rabbit ends the epidemic by covering his mouth as he sneezes. Easygoing wit permeates this book, from Clemesha's whimsical style to the surprise punchline, in which the bee reveals the source of its cold by emitting an exceptionally loud roar. The switcheroo of farm animal noises and foods is a motherlode of silliness for the younger set, as well as an opportunity (or an obligation) for parents to hone their animal impersonations as they read aloud. The message of avoiding contagion is probably of interest to many, but the book's humor is even more infectious than the bee's cold. Ages 3-6. (May)