cover image Supermoo


Babette Cole. Putnam Publishing Group, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-399-22422-5

Cole's ( The Trouble with Uncle ) latest creation is Supermoo, a heroic heifer determined to protect Earth. Like Superman, the cape-wearing bovine flies with ease, but she also takes certain cues from Batman: there's a high-tech Cowcave, a rocketing Cowmobile and a Cowsign in the night sky. In this goofy adventure, she and her sidekick, Calf Crypton, avert catastrophe after two molasses tankers collide on the high seas, then creatively employ the molasses to put out an oil-well fire. Cole rapidly cuts from scene to scene, allowing her manic illustrations to convey the action. As the Holstein duo soars through the air, a ``moosh!'' is heard; when they punch villains, their hooves go ``cowpow!'' Yet despite these inventive details, Cole's signature wackiness seems misplaced, her metaphor for the oil slick too facile. Good intentions notwithstanding, this silly tale of a serious subject misfires. Ages 4-8. (Feb.)