________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 18 . . . . May 10, 2002

cover Cappuccina Goes to Town.

Mary Ann Smith & Katie Smith Milway. Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2002.
32 pp., cloth, $15.95.
ISBN 1-55074-807-6.

Subject Headings:
Cows-Juvenile fiction.
Cities and towns-Juvenile fiction.
Clothing and dress-Juvenile fiction.

Kindergarten-grade 2 / Ages 5-7.

Review by Denise Weir.

*** /4

excerpt: image

"What kind of hat may I show you?" asked the hatter. And Cappuccina replied, "BLOOOOooo".

Cappuccina, a holstein cow, leads a quiet, pleasant life on the farm. But, as she watches people drive by the pasture on the road to town, she dreams of what life would be like as a person. After a storm breaks the fence enclosing the pasture, Cappuccina heads off down the road to discover life in town and to try on human apparel.

     Written by mother/daughter co-authors, Cappuccina Goes to Town is a lighthearted story about a cow discovering who she is and where she belongs. The text ably conveys the "voice" of the cow. Cappuccina likes to have everything "BLOOOooo." Similarly, the illustrations convey the warmth and humor of Cappuccina's adventure. Each page is framed by warm orange/yellow backgrounds and fruits. This "framing" creates the effect of the reader's becoming an "observer" of Cappuccina's activities. The farmers and the business people are portrayed as warm, loving people who are amused by Cappuccina's antics.

     Children will be delighted by the silly antics of a cow that is trying to be a person. They will also understand why Cappuccina is happy to be a cow in the pasture rather than a person.

     In general, I liked the book. However, there is a little kitten introduced into the story through the illustrations that is not mentioned in the story. As the kitten stays with Cappuccina from the middle of the story through to the end, I wondered about the significance of the cat. Is it just a new friend that Cappuccina made in town? Has the cat decided to live on the farm with Cappuccina? Readers might want to make their own conclusions about the cat. While the nostalgic illustrations of rural life and community add to the warmth of the story, parents and teachers might want to discuss modern rural life and agricultural practices, especially with urban children having no contact with the modern farm.


Denise Weir is a consultant for Manitoba Culture, Heritage, and Tourism, Public Library Services. Her professional background includes developing children's programming and school librarianship.

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364