Monday, April 28, 2008

Where's my cow? by Terry Pratchett, illustrated by Melvyn Grant - review

Where's my cow? by Terry Pratchett, illustrated by Melvyn Grant
Not merely a book for fans of Discworld (I haven't gotten around to those books, but my colleague Token Boy Librarian assures me that this book is one big in-joke if you've read them), Where's my cow? is a hoot for any parent who has mentally picked apart the drivelly book that they have had to read every night for 3 months because the kid can't go to sleep without it (Little Toot? I'm talkin' 'bout YOU!), and, if my kids are any indication, Where's my cow? is pretty frickin' funny for any child over, say, 4, as well.

The dad in this book, Sam Vimes (a dead ringer for the actor Pete Postlethwaite, leading me to futz around in imdb for a good twenty minutes trying to figure out if there's finally going to be a Terry Pratchett movie), has to read the dopey "Where's my cow?" to his baby boy every night.
Where's my cow
Is that my cow?
It goes, "Cluck!"
It is a chicken!
That's not my cow!
Although he enjoys all the baa-ing and clucking and oinking that the reading requires, at length Sam begins to deconstruct the text: not only is the book teaching poor observation and problem-solving skills to Young Sam, but also he questions the utility of demonstrating the characteristics of livestock to his son, a city kid. Sam reckons that the only sound Young Sam will ever hear from a farm animal is "sizzle!" when that animal is en route to the dinner table.

So Sam makes up his own take on the book, calling it "Where's my daddy?"
Where's my daddy?
Is that my daddy?
It goes, "Bugrit!"
It is Foul Ole Ron!
That's not my daddy!
Young Sam loved the new version, and so did Mr. Four. "I love that it's funny. I do, I really do!" is his review.

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