Sunday, November 4, 2018

Review - The Cow Went Over the Mountain

The Cow Went Over the Mountain
by Jeanette Krinsley
illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky
Date: 1963
Publisher: Golden Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 24
Format: e-book
Source: library

Little Cow thinks life will be better on the "other mountain," and convinces a few animals that the grass will be munchier, the bugs crunchier, the water sploshier, the mud sloshier . . . but when they get there, they find that the grass isn't really greener on the other side. This simple, witty tale, brought to life by Caldecott medalist Feodor Rojankovsky, was originally published in 1963 and is now back in print as a Little Golden Book Classic.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a simple story about the grass not being greener on the other side of the fence (or mountain, as in this case). The illustrations didn't wow me, and they didn't make a whole lot of sense. Why didn't the bear try to eat everyone?

As Little Cow picks up more and more animals to join her in the quest for munchier grass, crunchier bugs, sploshier water, etc., it starts to seem almost like a cult, with the cow making promises and all the other animals falling in line behind her. They even sing, and manage to rope in a bear with the promise of gooier honey.

Then, when they realize that everything they were searching for was right back where they'd started (of course), they "laughed and laughed and laughed", looking rather unhinged.

Maybe this passed for excellent children's literature in 1963, but it's a bit weak by today's standards.

Oh, and check out the picture of Little Cow (a girl) on the first page. (Yes, girls can have penises... but this was written in 1963, so I don't think diversity and inclusion was the intent here! It was just a really bad angle and a questionable choice of illustration to introduce the character.)

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 2/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.33 out of 5

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