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NOT NOW, COW by Tammi Sauer Kirkus Star


by Tammi Sauer ; illustrated by Troy Cummings

Pub Date: April 6th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-4197-4629-1
Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Animal friends on the farm are ready to enjoy the pleasures of each new season—but Cow displays confusion over what is expected.

In a double-page spread before the title page, an excited Rooster crows, “SPRING IS ALMOST HERE!” Spring is announced immediately after the title page, and readers see Duck watering her newly emerged sprouts, Sheep flying a kite, and Goat enjoying the spring showers. Cow, however, appears dressed in mittens, a heavy scarf, and hat. “Oh Cow. Not now,” says Rooster. Summer arrives, and with it swimming, beach play, and ice cream cones, but Cow is ready with a sled, snow boots, and heavy sweater. And again Rooster tells her, “Oh Cow. Not now.” Amusing illustrations in bold colors reflect each season’s attributes while the succinct and simple rhyming text details the animals’ activities. The fall scenario shows orange and brown leaves falling with Horse raking, Chick munching on an apple, and Sheep carving a pumpkin: “Horse is ready. / Builds a pile. / Chick is ready. / Snacks awhile. // Sheep is ready. / Adds a smile.” But a parka-clad Cow is set on skiing. Rooster: “Oh, Cow. Just…wow.” When, in winter, Cow shows up in a bathing suit and flippers, her exasperated friends finally tell her, “We need to talk.” Readers might wonder whether Cow is just innocently clueless or expressing her individualism. Kids will nevertheless be eager to repeat the refrain, the predictable structure of the page turns and pacing expertly cuing them. (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-18-inch double-page spreads viewed at 61.9% of actual size.)

Pure fun; readers and preschoolers will applaud both the silliness and practicalities presented.

(Picture book. 3-6)