cover image DOES A COW SAY BOO?


Judy Hindley, , illus. by Brita Granström. . Candlewick, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-1718-9

With an imagination tickler for a title, Hindley (The Big Red Bus) and Granström (Baby Knows Best) send a multi-ethnic group of children on a cheery survey of the farmyard. "Does a cow say boo?" asks the omniscient narrator. Granström pictures a quartet of children entertaining the question: a redheaded girl sticks her fingers on her head in imitation of the cow's horns while the cow itself seems to answer the question. "A cow says... moo! That's what a cow says—and you can, too. So who says boo?" The text continues along these rhetorical-participatory lines as the children scamper (and in one case, toddle) around the pens and barn, meeting up with sound-rich critters that utter an "oink," "woof," "neigh" and more. Working in watercolors and pencil, Granström renders vibrantly colored farm scenes from a wealth of vantage points, including the rafter perch of a barn owl. Vigorous brush strokes bring to life the distinctive textures, whether the regal feathering of a rooster or the tousled shagginess of a sheepdog. All barnyard denizens appear happy to be seen—and even handled by—the intrepid explorers. The answer to the title question comes on the final spread, when the children exuberantly demonstrate that saying "Boo" is a specialty of their own species. Ages 2-5. (June)