The Cow Who Climbed A Tree
By Gemma Merino
Published by MacMillan
Thematically related to the great Leo Lioni’s wonderful Cornelius, Gemma Merino’s The Cow Who Climbed A Tree tells the story of a bovine named Tina with a thirst for discovery. She ventures out from that which she knows to see what else the world might hold, and lo, she befriends a dragon while climbing a tree and they make fast friends. Tina returns to her sisters to share with them her experiences, but they scoff: “IMPOSSIBLE! RIDICULOUS! NONSENSE!” they say. Undeterred, the next day Tina sets out again, this time leaving a note for her unconvinced siblings: “Gone flying with the dragon.”
The sisters set out to bring Tina home and to put an end to her nonsense, but as they step out past the fields that are all they’ve ever known and see the beauty of the new world, their eyes are opened, and when they find Tina she is indeed flying with the dragon…
Rendered in beautiful watercolours and monotype, the illustrations are filled with an uncommon amount of movement. Truth be told, I could stand for the line work to be a touch crisper, but that’s entirely a personal choice, and a result of the process employed… It’s also hard to argue with the results, which are gorgeous, and Merino’s use of vibrant watercolours is especially effective.
Tina is a wonderful protagonist, and her story is a profoundly inspiring one. Merino’s previous book, the excellent The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water, won and was listed for a pile of awards, and it’s hard not to imagine that this adorable Cow might follow suit.
Kinderlit requested and received a copy of The Cow Who Climbed A Tree in exchange for an honest review. Read about our review policy HERE.