cover image Brown Cow, Green Grass, Yellow Mellow Sun

Brown Cow, Green Grass, Yellow Mellow Sun

Ellen Jackson. Hyperion Books, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-0010-0

Though playfully assorted typefaces and Claymation-like illustrations lend this book a novel appearance, they can't disguise Jackson's (Cinder Edna) simplistic narrative. The marginal story is one part color sequence, one part cumulative tale. ""The yellow mellow sunlight warmed the earth. The grass grew green and tall. Along walked a brown cow. The cow ate the green grass."" A boy milks the cow to get white milk, which he gives to his grandmother, who (while singing a song that reiterates the preceding sequence) churns it into yellow butter. Effective shadowing and the clarity of the reproductions give a convincing, 3-D quality to pictures of debut illustrator Raymond's whimsical, brightly painted sculptures (made of a modeling compound called Sculpey). The bland text concludes with tasty addenda: recipes for Big Brown Pancakes and Yellow Mellow Butter. Ages 2-6. (Apr.)