cover image Hunting the White Cow

Hunting the White Cow

Tres Seymour. Scholastic, $16.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-531-05496-3

Thanks to a deadpan delivery and a leisurely pace, this wry tale has all the markings of a good Southern yarn. ``Somewhere north of Priceville there's a white cow no one can catch,'' begins the narrator, who observes her father's (and various helpers') repeated attempts to bring the animal home. After each empty-handed return, the men gather on the porch, soaked or muddy or bruised, but filled with speculation about the elusive beast. Seymour's ( Pole Dog ) conversational tone and distinctive regional locutions lend the story sparkle: ``We never did see the white cow again for a month, but then Ollie Jarboe called and said, `Y'all's cow is in Horton's cornfield, eating like an old sow.' '' Halperin's muted colored pencil and watercolor illustrations are invitingly cluttered: the worn overalls, cow-pie-caked boots and cheerful disarray of the farmhouse echo the relaxed mood of the text. This flavorsome collaboration simmers till the very end. Seymour and Halperin generate just enough music and mystery to encourage many re-readings. Ages 4-7. (Sept.)