cover image Boo Cow

Boo Cow

Patricia Baehr, illus. by Margot Apple, Charles-bridge, $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58089-108-0

First-time farmers Mr. and Mrs. Noodleman are thrilled with the purchase of 552 brand new chickens. "By tomorrow... we'll be up to our eyeballs in eggs!" Mr. Noodleman exclaims. To their dismay, the barn is visited each night by Boo Cow, a bovine ghost whose "soft but unmistakable moo" is so terrifying that the chickens cannot lay a single egg. The Noodlemans devise all sorts of schemes to solve their haunting problem, including a consultation with a psychic, a pink fluffy nightgown for each chicken, and even a confrontation with Boo Cow herself ("Stop it, Boo Cow!... Your ugly mug has frightened its last chicken! Scram! Hit the road! And don't come back!") But is Boo Cow really the cause of the commotion? The Noodlemans' determination to have eggs for breakfast, no matter what, is tempered by the book's overarching messages of protection and forgiveness. A mix of mystery and hilarity, Baehr's (Mouse in the House) story is made far from frightening by Apple's (Little Goose) soft pencil illustrations, as well as an ending that will leave children assured of Boo Cow's gentle nature. Ages 4–7. (July)