cover image Chickpea and the Talking Cow

Chickpea and the Talking Cow

Andrew Glass. Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books, $13 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-06174-6

When Chickpea, a farmer's son no taller than the grass, finds himself inside the mouth of a cow, he doesn't mean to deceive the visiting nobility. But his calls for help are mistaken for the voice of a talking cow, and so he hatches a scheme to make his family as rich as the other farmers in the village. The hoax backfires at the worst possible momentright in front of the emperor. Both Chickpea and his father are banished from the royal chambers in disgrace. And Chickpea's hoped-for wealth and fortune? A rich and lucky man, his father points out, is one who has a loving son. The story alone delivers a worthwhile message, but Glass's captivating illustrations enhance this simple tale: picturesque landscapes in muted pastels that glow with soft highlights, and rosy portraits of kindly soulsChickpea's generous father, the boy himself and Sweet Esmeralda, the cow. Ages 3-6. (October)