Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Curious Cow

Many, many years ago, I began recalling a foggy memory of a book that I had as a child. I had vague recollection of a cow who kept getting into trouble, particularly when the cow went into the house startled the farmer's wife. The cow's name was at the tip of my brain but slightly repressed and I thought the farmer's name was Brown (which was wrong, it's actually Green). About 6 months ago, I finally remembered that the cow's name was Katy, which is a different enough spelling that the google search engine provided me with a book name: The Curious Cow.

The book was originally published in 1960 with the last publication in 1977 so it's clearly been out of print for many years, hence my trouble in locating a copy. I finally did locate a reasonably good copy in hardback, the kind used in school libraries. What a fascinating discovery, when the book finally arrived, to see that the first library date was from February, 1962.

A few of the pages feel a little fragile near the binding, but otherwise the book is in very good shape. It's also fascinating to me to hear the language describing Katy as a "good cow" or a "bad cow" when that kind of labeling is so foreign in modern children's picture books.

My favorite part of rediscovering this treasure from my childhood was the illustrations. I love the rough sketching and the bright swaths of color.

I love how expressive Katy's eyes are despite the rough sketching.

And I especially love seeing the eggs fall to the floor, Katy walking down the plank of wood, and Katy swimming in the hole, all parts of the story I vividly remember being captivated by as a child.

That's all. I'm not particularly recommending this book, although it's certainly worth the read if you ever stumble across it. This blog just wouldn't be a very good reflection of my opinion and taste in children's books without a mention of the book I spent so much of my childhood loving and so much of my adulthood searching for.


  1. I loved this book as a child as well. I just googled it today and was thrilled to discover your post!

  2. Ha ha!

    I was just thinking about something entirely else and was looking for a 'curious' association. Then I part remembered the name of the first book I recall reading and voilà! Here we are!