Where's My Cow?
Illustrated by Melvyn Grant
US First Edition Hardcover
Publication Date: 10-01-2005
32 Pages; $16.95
Date Reviewed: 10-27-05
Reviewed by: Rick Kleffel © 2005
One of the best parts of Terry Pratchett's 'Thud!' is this book, 'Where's My Cow?', the book that Sam Vimes reads to his child during the course of the narrative. Pratchett told me in an interview that there are only 700 words in this entire book, so I'm going to have to work pretty damn hard to keep the review shorter than the book.
If you're expecting just the "Where's my cow?" parts, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find that Pratchett and his extremely talented illustrator, Melvyn Grant, have concocted a sort of MC Escher version of a child's book. Early on, we see Sam Vimes take down the very book you should be holding in your hands from the bookshelf. Vimes, unhappy with the contents of the book, adds his own tweaks -- featuring the creatures of the city, not the farmland.
Grant's illustrations combine a variety of styles in a very appropriate fashion. At the very least, anyone who has read 'Thud!' needs to pick this up in the bookstore and read it. I find myself hard-pressed to imagine the person who has read 'Thud!' who will also be able to leave the store without this book, whether or not you have kids. It's just too cool.
Adults seeking a more entertaining-to-them-than-usual book to read to youngish children will find this well worth their while, and probably want start reading Pratchett's other works. Of course a portion of the reading public will suspect that in 'Where's My Cow?', Pratchett and his publishers were quite certain they had located a cash cow. They're likely to think: "This cow goes KA-CHING!"
To which young Sam would reply, "Ptui!"