cover image Minnie and Moo: Hooves of Fire

Minnie and Moo: Hooves of Fire

Denys Cazet. Creston (PGW, dist.), $15.95 (208p) ISBN 978-1-939547-08-8

The bovine stars of several picture books and early readers (and the 2003 chapter book Minnie and Moo and the Seven Wonders of the World) make a raucous return as hosts of the “First Annual Hoot, Holler, and Moo Talent Festival.” Take-charge Moo announces that she and Minnie will judge the show, explaining, “Scores will be based on whim, impulse, and passing fancy.” A long chain of performances makes up most of the book: early on, Elvis the rooster hogs the stage and croons, “I’m a Cocka Doodle Dandy/ That doodles up the sun./ No one starts the day/ Till I say it’s all begun,” while the Poulettes, a troupe of cheerleading chickens, lay eggs onstage (“We were motivated!”). Minnie’s trademark worrying is warranted, as her suspicions that hyenas, weasels, and coyotes are up to no good are comically validated when they organize a port-a-potty race and get their paws on the show money box. Cazet’s b&w illustrations pump additional energy into this loony down-on-the-farm story. Ages 6–11. (July)