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Clancy the Courageous Cow

by Lachie Hume

Published by U.S. edition: Greenwillow Books / HarperCollins, 2007
32 pages
ISBN: 0061172499

Ages 6-10

Clancy is a Belted Galloway--a breed of cow distinguished by the wide white belt around the middle of its otherwise black hide. But Clancy is all black-—beltless—-and his varied attempts to remedy the situation (white paint, snow, sugar) are all to no avail. Clancy’s herd faces an even bigger problem: every year, they lose the wrestling match with the Herefords that determines who gets to graze on the greener—-and richer-—side of the fence. Because the brown and white Herefords get the better grass, they grow stronger and easily win the annual competition. “The Belted Galloways were trapped in a vicious cycle.” Droll delivery, delightful details, and marvelous naïve-style illustrations that extend the humor on every page combine in Lachie Hume’s very funny debut picture book. It turns out that the all-black Clancy can sneak over the fence at night without being seen—-only the all-brown Hereford Helga knows he’s there. He soon grows big and strong on the good grass, and goes from outcast to odds-on-favorite in his herd for the upcoming wrestling match. After a little coaching in the finer points of cow wrestling holds and maneuvers, Clancy is ready. The hoof-and-mouth tale ends more than happily when Clancy turns his inevitable triumph into a call for reconciliation (“I say we pull down the fence and be cows together") and an implied declaration of love. (MS) ©2007 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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