cover image The Tsar and the Amazing Cow

The Tsar and the Amazing Cow

J. Patrick Lewis, Andrew Lewis, Lewis Wilson. Dial Books, $10.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-0410-7

One night Stefan, an old and unlucky peasant, hears his cow Buryonka advise him to ""Drink the milk, Master. It is more than milk now. It is magic.'' He's so surprised he falls off his milking stool. Drinking the milk makes him and his wife Maria suddenly youngand so famous that the frightful tsar demands they bring Buryonka to the palace. In the end of this jaunty tale, the tsar is punished for his greed; there's also a subplot concerning the peasants' three lost daughters, who are returned to life. Henstra's drawings fill the wide pages with picturesque farm buildings and curious observers. Buryonka, solidly drawn, is the image of faithfulness, but hardly magical-looking. One oddity about the illustrations: the tsar, a central figure, is upstaged by one of his courtiers, a tall, flamboyant man with no role in the action. Ages 4-8. (March)