cover image Moo, Moo, Brown Cow! Have You Any Milk?

Moo, Moo, Brown Cow! Have You Any Milk?

Phillis Gershator, illus. by Giselle Potter. Random, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-375-86744-6

In a story that's part lullaby, part concept book, with its gentle emphasis on colors, animals, and their sounds, Gershator (Who's Awake in Springtime) riffs on "Baa Baa Black Sheep" to explore a farm boy's day. "Buzz, buzz, yellow bee!/ Have you any honey?/ %E2%80%98Yes, sir, yes, sir,/ sweet and sunny.' " Each quatrain introducing a new animal is followed by another that explains what the creature provides: "Does sun-sweet honey make a tasty spread?/ %E2%80%98Yes, sir, yes, sir,' the yellow bee said." Potter's (The Little Piano Girl) characteristically na%C3%AFf illustrations play up the whimsy of the interactions; the bee, for instance, uses a honey dipper to provide the aforementioned "tasty spread," and the boy sits on a sweeping expanse of wool that the sheep knits while sitting in an armchair. The progression of events (yielding a blanket, pillow, and snack) naturally leads to bedtime, and a final scene, in which the animals appear as stuffed toys in the boy's bed (or, in the case of the bees, a mobile), leaves readers to ponder just how much of the day's adventures might have been imagined. Ages 2%E2%80%935. (June)