Review Blog

May 03 2009

The best cow in show by Andy Cutbill and Russell Ayto

cover image

HarperCollins, 2009.
Ages 5+ Following on from the success of The cow that laid an egg, comes this charming picture book, relishing in the cow with her chicken offspring. When the farmer's wife declares a competition to see who has the most beautiful baby, all the cows are prepared to present their offspring. There are calves everywhere, except for one place of course. Marjorie and her chicken, Daisy, are ready to be inspected by the farmer's wife, when Daisy spies a worm in her hat. Without further ado, she picks off the worm, and the farmer's wife faints. All the cows laugh, but Marjorie whisks Daisy into her arms telling them that she may not be the same as all the others, but she is loved. With that the bull, Derek, gives her the rosette as best in show because she is the prefect mum.
A delightful story with a serious message, The best cow in show will absorb and amuse younger readers as they follow Marjorie's antics through the book. The moral of the story is obvious to all, and many discussions in class will follow as the children talk of how love is unconditional. The fine illustrations by Russell Ayto are perfect, paralleling the nonsense of the story, with the theme of a mother's love reflected in the eyes of all the cows.
Fran Knight

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