Foreword Review — Sept / Oct 2001
Irrepressible characters, whimsical illustrations, humorous misunderstandings, and an amiable audio narrative enliven these book-and-cassette sets, part of the Readalongs for Beginning Readers collection. If Amelia Bedelia’s literal interpretations bring on giggles, wait ’til you meet Cazet’s zany cow-girls (female cows, that is) Minnie and Moo. Adventures abound whenever Moo “thinks.”
In Minnie and Moo Go to Paris, Moo decides to see the world. The sign on the bus says “Got a Place to Go? Take This Bus,” so she does! In only one day, the girls discover Africa, China, and Paris. Of course, Africa is an amusement park ride aboard an elephant train, Paris is a field of electrical towers (like the Eiffel Tower), and it’s raining in China, (“monsoons with soap suds”) as they travel through China Wong’s Car Wash. Finally, in America, the girls join all the animals from Africa World telling stories and toasting marshmallows around the campfire.
In Minnie and Moo Save the Earth, as they soak in a bubbling hot tub, Minnie worries about her weight and Moo wonders about stars, the moon, and life on other planets. The three comets they see fall from the skies are really spaceships. The Mother Ship is accessorized with high-heeled legs, a frilly pink hem, and MOM written on the side. The aliens think the towel-headed cows are wearing helmets and that their horns are weapons, so they call the Father Ship (with “POP” and logos on the side) and mount an invasion. Minnie and Moo fight back against the large “bugs” to defend their cheese and plan to go to Paris the next day. Children will love the logic: France must be near because the farmer’s wife walked over the hill with a loaf of French bread!
The lively music at the beginning of each chapter, effective use of sound effects, and Barbara Caruso’s differentiated voices and narrative enhance these guided reading activities for beginning readers.