Reviewer Persis ("Perky") Granger: Perky is
an avid reader and a writer of fiction and nonfiction, including
Adirondack Gold, A Summer of Strangers and Shared Stories from
Daughters of Alzheimer's: Writing a path to peace. She studied at the
College of Wooster (OH) and the University of Massachusetts
(Amherst), earning a BA at the latter. She later completed her Master
of Science in Teaching at SUNY Plattsburgh.
She presents programs to adults and youth, and hosts writers’ retreats in New York and Florida. Learn more at www.PersisGranger.com (also accessed as www.FictionAmongFriends.com.)
Illustrated by Reka Hegedus
Publisher: Modern World Publishing
Gassy the Cow is a charming and funny story that kids will enjoy and joke about long after the reading. It’s a story of love almost derailed, of a character nearly defeated by his fatal flaw. Gassy loves munching fresh herbs and flowers accessed by stretching the fence at the far corner of the pasture, and he avails himself of them at every opportunity – much to the dismay of his herd mates, who are put off by the resulting odiferous flatulence. Gassy doesn’t care—that is, he doesn’t care until the beautiful heifer Mona catches his eye.
A love story unfolds—love at first unrequited, as Gassy, in his first attempt at flirting, is unable to restrain his lower gastro-intestinal distress. He suggests to Mona, by way of an excuse, that he may be lactose intolerant. Mona is not amused, and runs off to cavort with one of the other young bulls, Bruno, who fancies himself “the farm’s version of Elvis Presley—a hunk, a hunk of burning heifer complete with a cow lick.” Bruno, like Gassy, is quite taken with Mona, and Gassy vows to win her back. Desperate situations require desperate means. In the words of the author, “Sometimes love comes with a price tag. For Gassy the choice was simple. Being with Mona was worth all the flowering shrubs he gave up.” Gassy’s clever plan to outsmart his competitor will have his little fans cheering on the sidelines (when they aren’t snickering)!
Gassy the Cow is fun, and Reka Hegedus’ illustrations are as entertaining as the text. Each of the bovine characters is drawn with the juvenile reader in mind, and the kid-friendly font rounds out the pleasant offering. A detail-oriented adult will question use of the words “cow” and “heifer” to designate a male of the bovine species, but children will simply be swept up in the plot, which moves quickly and directly to a satisfying conclusion.