ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

Kiss the Cow

Foreword Review — May / June 2001

Annalisa was a very curious, and a very stubborn little girl. Each day as her mother, Mama May, went to milk her magic cow, Annalisa would follow her. The cow’s milk was used to feed all of Mama May’s children. Mama May would sing a song to Luella, the magic cow, as she milked her. “Lovely Luella, your milk never fails. My children are hungry, So please fill my pails.” Afterward, she would give Luella a kiss on her nose. “Ughhh!,” said Annalisa. “Imagine kissing a cow!”

Annalisa’s curiosity got the better of her one day. She wondered what it would be like to milk a magic cow. So off she went to try! Annalisa sang just as Mama May did but she would not kiss Luella’s nose. Poor Luella was heartbroken. The more Mama May wanted Annalisa to kiss Luella, the more stubborn Annalisa was in her refusal. Her brothers and sisters cried but still Annalisa refused.

As Annalisa’s siblings crowded around her begging for milk and cheese, they crowded her out of the house and up the hill to Luella. Still, she refused. Finally, Annalisa became curious about what it would be like to kiss a cow, so she kissed Luella—only to discover that Luella’s nose was warm and dry and silky. As Mama May sang her magic song, Luella’s milk started to flow. Annalisa felt so wonderful, she kissed Luella’s nose again!

Root has written many popular picturebooks including What Baby Wants, One Duck Stuck and All for the Newborn Baby. Hillenbrand, an acclaimed illustrator, has also authored a book entitled Down by the Station. The watercolor prints in Kiss the Cow are detailed and alive with natural color. The drawing of Luella, with tears in her eyes is heartrending and each illustration is a story in itself. This is not only a captivating story but also a good book for children to learn new and descriptive words.

Judi Oswald