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Moo and Moo and the Little Calf too

What a delightful way to read a fun story and introduce realistic concepts along the way. The author has cleverly devised this rhyming text to elaborate on an actual incident which happened in New Zealand in November 2016. Many of us saw on TV, or in the newspapers, the three cows left stranded after an earthquake and landslide which occurred in the middle of the night.

 The story is as gentle as the illustrations and the rhyming text. ”Moo and Moo and the little calf too” were all asleep with the moon high in the sky and the stars twinkling. Suddenly the Clarence Valley began to move under the influence of an earthquake.

 The core of land that the cows were on was separated from the rest of the land, and slid down the valley with the surprised cows standing up until the core came to rest in the valley. However, as daylight made their predicament visible, the cows realized that they were trapped on their platform of earth, and could not get off.

 Later, a helicopter passed by and realized their predicament. The dairy farmer and his friends came with shovels and picks, and made a track that the cows could use to get off the platform. They walked down and followed the men back home to their herd.

 As a picture book this story stands alone with double page spreads of softly drawn illustrations, and blocks of text on each page. What makes it remarkable is the inclusion of information, and the opportunity for discussion.

 Earthquakes, New Zealand and the Richter scale are all referred to at the back of the book, as well as the date and time of the earthquake that stranded the cows. For curious children, this book is a mine of information and many concepts and ideas are presented.

 Even in the illustrations of the mountainous region, and the bay, we see that unstable areas are quite different to old flat land not on the edge of tectonic plates. Congratulations to the author and illustrator, whose work is so complimentary to the story.


AuthorJane Millton AND Deborah Hinde
PublisherAllen and Unwin New Zealand
DistributorAllen and Unwin