T H E B U L L E T I N
OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
GRADUATE SCHOOL OF LIBRARY
AND INFORMATION SCIENCE
December 16, 2005
Newman, Marlene M Barefoot, 2005 [40p] Myron's Magic Cow; illus. by Jago.
ISBN 1841484962 $16.99
Reviewed from galleys R 6-10yrs
During an ordinary (and reluctant) trip to the store for milk, Myron meets a pushy blonde who trades him a cow for money, then takes off in a bright pink car with three bears. Astonished city‑kid Myron (who has never seen let alone owned a real cow) is even more surprised when the cow begins to speak and grant wishes, Audiences will quickly recognize that there is some fairy‑tale spoofery going on; while this type of satire is familiar, Myron's tale highlights the absurd, bringing familiar characters (Jack, Goldilocks, the bears) to a city setting and confronting hapless but unfazeable Myron with bizarre circumstances, while never losing sight of the child‑centered concern that his mom is waiting for milk,… Myron's final wish that "someone else would have to go to the store once in a while" is pure kid‑think, and the story has just the right level of tongue-in‑cheek humor. Jago's striking illustrations offer a bold color palette (muted and textured by darker dragging and background marbling) and naively drawn figures and objects; the sparse layouts and skewed scale (the vast backgrounds and the large, boxy cow loom over tiny Myron) add to the surreal feel of the story. Imaginative kids who use make‑believe to counteract the drudgery of day‑to‑day life will especially enjoy seeing Myron's unusual encounter and eventual mini‑triumph. MH
NEWMAN, Marlene. Myron's Magic Cow‑ illus. by Jago. unpaged.