CM . . .
. Volume XIV Number 17 . . . . April 18, 2008
Buttercup is a black and white cow living in an idyllic meadow. Through Carolyn Beck's poetry, we follow her through a "lovely day" full of all the things a cow loves: sun, sweet grass, a buzzing bee, singing crickets, even a visiting skunk "who's under my belly/He's terribly/and terrifically smelly."
One of the unique features of Beck's poetry is her use of descriptive, but fanciful words. "The fluzz of the flies," "clowny dogs chase drifty cats," "I love the creek/It bubbles and guggles through my legs," "stinky, slinky funky skunk."
When the sun sets, Buttercup doesn't follow the other cows into the barn but stays out to admire the moon and the Milky Way. "Is the moon a bucket filled to the top?/Is it brimming with milk? Did it spill? Did it slop?" As a patient farmer comes to lead her home, she relaxes in the warm familiarity of the barn. "I love the barn./Tree tall walls./cow-filled stalls./The snorty stuff of hay and dung./Pails all stacked./harnesses hung."
Carolyn Beck manages to achieve a sense of immense calm and peaceful contentment which is assisted by her sister’s acrylic artwork that glows with warm colours and vibrant greens and blues. Andrea Beck is the creator of the "Elliot Moose" series, and she lives in Unionville, ON. Carolyn Beck lives in Toronto, ON, and has collaborated on one other book with sister Andrea.
Buttercup’s Lovely Day is a picture book that young children will enjoy. Slightly older students might enjoy making up their own words to add to Carolyn Beck's descriptive poetry.
Helen Norrie, a former teacher-librarian and children's literature teacher, lives in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.