Friday, March 13, 2020

Identity Crisis: Cowie by Elizabeth Rose Stanton

Everyone called him Cowie because Cowie loved everything about cows.

He's a donkey who loves their soft kind eyes and their calm and steady personas.

Cowie wanted to be content like the cows.
No one rode them, or made them carry things.

With his friends, Duckie, Mouse, and Chick, Cowie sits under the tree in the pasture and decides that a cow is what he is meant to be.

He tries standing like the cows in the barn, chewing his cud and swatting flies with his tail. So far, so good. But he's still not a COW!

He tries to moo, but it comes out all wrong.


The cows stop grazing and stare at him as only cows can stare.

Duckie and Mouse and Chick try to fine-tune his MOO.


That's no good! Maybe Cowie needs a makeover. But even with his teeth brushed and with freshly minty breath, his MOO still comes out backwards.

Will Chick, Mouse, and Duckie find a way to turn Cowie's MOO around?

Maybe cow identity is partly a contented state of mind, in Elizabeth Rose Stanton's latest, Cowie (Simon and Schuster, 2020). And at last Cowie sits quietly under his shade tree in the pasture, wearing his honorary cowbell, a bit reminiscent of little Ferdinand under his tree in Munro Leaf's classic The Story of Ferdinand. This story shares the same simple message, with Stanton's gently humorous characters done in beautiful soft watercolor illustrations set spot-art style against bright white pages. A lovely book with a lovely theme--be yourself, but be the you you want to be!

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