When Pigs Fly! The Cow Who Climbed A Tree by Gemma Merino
TINA WAS A VERY CURIOUS COW.
SHE HAD A THIRST FOR DISCOVERY.
HER MIND WAS FULL OF WONDERFUL THINGS.
ALL OF WHICH HER SISTERS FOUND VERY SILLY.
Her sister milkers were mostly concerned with consuming grass. They gave Tina's aspirations short shrift.
Not deterred, Tina leaves her pedestrian siblings to their grazing in the meadow and takes off for the woods. The forest itself is magical, the tall trees suggesting mysteries to be discovered. And inspired, Tina decides to take leave of convention and climb one tree. Up she goes, and in the tip-top she discovers---a dragon!
Fortunately, this dragon is both vegetarian and friendly. They hit it off right away.
Tina can't wait to share her adventure with her sisters. But the conventional cows are not impressed.
"DRAGONS DON'T EXIST!"
"COWS CAN'T CLIMB TREES!"
But when Tina doesn't show up the next day for breakfast, her siblings decide to take charge of their wayward sister and set out into the woods, udders swinging resolutely, to bring Tina back to her senses and to her proper place in the pasture. But as they clomp through the woods, they can't help feeling the beauty of the greenwood. And then they see something they can't quite conceive.
A pig is climbing a tree with a sign that says...
FLYING LESSONS TODAY
Can the three bovine sisters believe their eyes? Do pigs fly? Can cows fly? And should they join in the fun?
Gemma Merino's The Cow Who Climbed a Tree (Albert Whitman/Macmillan, 2016) is a delightful flight of fancy, with both Tina and the Pig parasailing along behind the accommodating dragon. This satisfyingly silly story of thinking outside the, er, stall will resonate with kids who find it easy to think of six impossible things before breakfast. To add to the fun, Merino's illustrations are fancifully lovely, her trees straight lines with blue-green circles for foliage, abstract but capturing the sense of an enchanted wood in which a free-thinking cow can meet a vegetarian dragon and pigs can fly. This is a picture book that is a joy to the eyes, one that begs to be read with joy. School Library Journal gives this one a starred review, and Publishers Weekly adds, "... a lighthearted and amusing endorsement of leaving one's comfort zone and ignoring naysayers and giving dreams a chance."