We can’t have people miss great literature full of cow goodness.
Farmer Brown has a problem. His literary cows have discovered their typewriter, and they use it all day to type complaints. This picture book is laugh out loud funny, but it has a deeper message too. Literacy and teamwork (in this case, unionization) leads to empowerment. Heavy stuff for book with so few words.
Katherine Applegate is best known for her juvenile science fiction series, The Animorphs, so this book was a complete surprise. It is a story, told in verse, of a gentle refugee named Kek. He’s a teenager from the Sudan. The culture shock of his arrival in Minnesota is both hysterically funny and really sad. Sometimes it achieves both emotions in the same scene. What finally grounds Kek to his new and baffling world is a cow. The Sudanese value cows highly. Kek’s people measure wealth in cows, and honor those who care for them. When Kek finds a job on a small farm caring for an elderly cow, he also finds himself. He is reborn in his own eyes (and in the eyes of everyone around him) as Kek, the cowboy.
I loved, loved, loved this book. My daughter and I laughed and cried when we read it together, and we both cheered on Kek. I think that you’ll really enjoy it too. Read it for an alien cultural view point, brilliantly portrayed. Read it for the joy of a redemption story. Or read it for the cow. I don’t care, so long as you read it.
PS. I expect that most our future reviews will have little to do with cows. There just are not that many cow stories in the SF field. But I loved both these books, and wanted to share.