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Author: Creech, Sharon
In a mix of poetry and prose, a poignant story about family, friendship--and the bond between a girl and her cow.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 3.0 Quiz: 184108
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 69339
Kirkus Reviews (+) (06/01/16)
School Library Journal (+) (07/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (09/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 07/01/2016 Gr 3–6—Creech offers a memorable family story featuring an especially difficult cow. When Reena, 12, and her brother Luke, seven, move with their parents to Maine from the noisy bustle of New York City, lots of adjustments are required. The siblings appreciate each other and generally get along. The citified family is thrust into small-town life, and things get awkward when Reena's parents force her and Luke to help out a neighbor, Mrs. Falala, who owns a small menagerie of animals, including one very cantankerous cow. Creech employs a mix of prose and poems. The free verse poems contain spare punctuation, inventive spacing, and clever use of font. As Reena and Luke learn about farm life, they also discover more about Mrs. Falala, who impacts the lives of the family in unexpected ways. VERDICT A heartfelt tale that will be embraced by Creech's fans, work well as a classroom read-aloud, and find a spot in book groups.—Carol A. Edwards, Formerly at Denver Public Library - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2016 When twelve-year-old Reena and her family move from the big city to a small town in Maine, the transition is a bit bumpy at first, especially when Reena’s parents volunteer her and her younger brother to help an eccentric elderly neighbor, Mrs. Falala, with her livestock, including stubborn cow Zora. The city kids have a lot to learn but they ultimately find their way, even forming a semi-friendship with the cantankerous old lady. Mrs. Falala manages to enlist a reluctant Reena to show Zora at the upcoming local fair, where Reena and the heifer earn a fourth-place finish. Sadly, Mrs. Falala does not live to see the show-but it turns out she has left her animals to Reena’s family. There’s a certain level of contrivance to some of the plotting and characterizations here, but it’s not enough to negate the story’s overall success. Creech’s compact poetic text, which alternates ragged right margin passages with more straightforward (but still sonorous) paragraphs, is pleasantly compelling, and the evocative descriptions of farm life provide a snapshot feeling. The quick pace and accessible narrative will win over reluctant readers, and it’s an easy pick for fans of Creech’s Love That Dog or animal lovers looking for a quick yet moo-ving read. JH - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 07/01/2016 When 12-year-old Reena, her younger brother, and their parents move from New York City to a small town in Maine, the differences are apparent: a slower pace and a quieter place where the kids are free to bike around town on their own. Almost immediately, their mother volunteers their services to Mrs. Falala, an elderly Italian woman who needs help with her cow. From their first job, shoveling manure, they progress to putting a halter on moody Zora, the Belted Galloway cow they gradually befriend. Reena learns to show her at the upcoming fair. The first-person narrative, written partly in prose and partly in free verse, features a city girl facing challenges that strengthen her body and broaden her thinking. The cover design links it to Creech’s previous novels in verse, Love That Dog (2001) and Hate That Cat (2008), and with its distinctive near-rural setting, this highly readable, down-to-earth chapter book offers a refreshing change of pace from most realistic fiction. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.