cover image SINK OR SWIM


Valerie Coulman, Valerie Columan, , illus. by Rogé. . Lobster Press, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-894222-54-9

The creators of When Pigs Fly return with another adventure starring Ralph, an imaginative cow who is, fittingly, pretty bull-headed. On a hot summer day Ralph and his bovine buddy Morris long to cool off in the pond, just like the ducks and other water creatures. They don't know how to swim, of course, but Ralph is certain that he and Morris can learn from those who do it best. Tips from the ducks, a frog, a turtle and the human proprietor of Bubble Bob's swim shop eventually help the cows beat the heat, with much slapstick silliness along the way. The gleeful preposterousness of Coulman's plot keeps this story afloat (despite a few grammatical missteps, e.g., "Would you teach my friend and I to swim?"). Rogé makes a splash with paintings that brim with humorous detail and rolling blue-water backdrops. The artwork conveys a chipper mood and lots of energy, both of which appear to be Ralph's trademarks. Ages 2-7. (Nov.)