cover image SAILOR MOO: Cow at Sea

SAILOR MOO: Cow at Sea

Lisa Wheeler, , illus. by Ponder Goembel. . Atheneum/Jackson, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-84219-1

Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of… milk? Yes, the creamy white drink plays a role in this bouncy bovine picture book, in which a cow finds adventure and true love on the high seas. Compelled to follow her dreams, dairy cow Moo leaves behind the farm's fields of waving wheat for the rollicking waves of the ocean. A stint as galley cook to the feline crew of the Cat's Meow is cut short by a storm that tosses Moo "into the brew" where she is quickly rescued by a pair of her cousins, the sea cows, and escorted to a cattle barge. But the gang with studded ears on board turns out to be a bunch of "looting steers… cow buccaneers." Luckily Moo wins the heart of captain Red Angus and encourages him to abandon his pirate ways for married life on the Jersey shore. Wheeler's (Wool Gathering: A Sheep Family Reunion) rhyming verse, filled with silly cow puns, features a breathlessly outré story line. Goembel's (Hi, Pizza Man!) dusky acrylics introduce a cast of bipedal critters who teeter wildly between anthropomorphism and realism, upping the humor considerably. The goggle-sporting manatees and hook-handed cat captain Silver Claw will likely have readers giggling. Ages 3-7. (July)