cover image CLORINDA


Robert Kinerk, , illus. by Steven Kellogg. . S&S/Wiseman, $15.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-689-86449-0

Kinerk's (Slim and Miss Prim ) rhyming tale centers on a cow who goes to town to vote, but instead of casting her ballot inadvertently attends a ballet and is inspired to try dancing herself. Back on the farm, Clorinda asks farmhand Len to build her a stage, where the tutu-clad bovine ballerina practices her positions, much to the disdain of the other animals, who announce, "No, no. That won't do./ You're only a cow, and what they do is moo !" Encouraged by Len, Clorinda heads for Manhattan, where she fails to land even an audition and takes a job waiting tables. After she gets her big break, the determined dancer practices her leap and worriedly sizes up her relatively slight partner: "Somehow,/ you may want to think twice about catching a cow," she advises him. Her fears are well founded: the airborne cow lands on her partner, yet earns cheers and applause anyway. Reinforcing Len's message, her fellow dancer explains, "They're doing all this because each understands/ the thing most important is making a try—/ you can't always triumph. You can't always fly." The cleverness of Kinerk's verse varies and its rhythm occasionally falters, although the tone remains invariably cheerful. Rendered in his trademark palette and exuberant style, Kellogg's illustrations emphasize the comical elements of the story. The back flap hints at an encore performance from Clorinda, too. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)