Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
Cross-dressing is Old Tom's curious solution when a stubborn cow, Belinda, refuses to be milked by anyone but the farmer's errand-bound wife. Milk, mayhem and moiré add up to gallons of fun. Ages 3-7. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 2-Bessie and Old Tom enjoy their serene life in the country and vigorously attack their personal chores to keep things on an even keel; every day, she milks Belinda and he works in the garden. However, events take a drastic turn for Old Tom when Bessie visits her daughter in the city overnight. The highly responsible job of milking the cow is then delegated to him-and Belinda has a mind of her own. But this man refuses to be bested by the animal and comes up with the perfect solution: he puts on his wife's pink dress, rubber boots, and straw hat, and lo and behold, the cow thinks he's her beloved mistress. The final result is milk in abundance. Allen delivers a zany story of stubbornness and determination through a simple text that bounces along with a light and breezy tone. Its clever use of repetition and crisp sentences beg to be read aloud. The watercolor illustrations with India-ink crosshatchings are manipulated with great flair to create small, comical figures that are often shown in a series to create an animated effect. Children will revel in the sheer silliness and appreciate the creative solution.-Debra S. Gold, Parma Heights Library, Parma, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Ages 2-4. Old Tom isn't used to milking Belinda the cow and, when his wife goes away, the cow kicks him high in the air so that he lands with a thud in the mud. He tries to lure Belinda with a carrot and to catch her with a rope, but the cow runs off "mooing and trotting, mooing and trotting." That means no milk for the dog, no milk for the cat, and no butter for Old Tom's bread. His solution is to dress up in his wife's huge pink flowery dress, complete with pillow for bosom and a cartwheel hat. The combination of rhythmic, repetitive text and sharp ink-and-wash illustrations, with the bearded old man and the farm animals chasing each other and falling across lots of white space, makes for slapstick read-aloud comedy. ~--Hazel Rochman
Horn Book Review
Humor abounds in this tale of Belinda the cow and her hapless master, Old Tom. When Old Tom's wife, Bessie, goes off to visit her daughter and leaves him to tend to Belinda, trouble begins. The simple, whimsical pictures are the perfect accompaniment to the lighthearted text. An outstanding book for reading aloud. From HORN BOOK 1993, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
Bessie milks Belinda every day, while Old Tom grows vegetables; but when Bessie goes to visit her daughter, Old Tom is to do the milking. ``There's a good girl,'' he croons, whereupon Belinda declares her intentions with ``one almighty kick.'' She's faster than he is, and also smart enough to snatch the carrot he offers before escaping. But Old Tom is clever: Disguising himself as Bessie, he gets milk for himself as well as the family dog, cat, and pig; and the only evidence, when Bessie comes home, is mud on the hem of her dress. Allen's lively story is as succinct and neatly honed as a folktale, while her deftly designed illustrations--pen-and-watercolor figures silhouetted on clean, white pages--are splendidly witty. Plump, cheery Bessie is a fine foil for bearded, bald-topped Tom, whose slight, agile figure is amusingly repeated across the spreads, counterpointed by his rope or his flying bucket. A delightful offering from this much-honored New Zealander/Australian; perfect to share with a group. (Picture book. 3-8)