I love Moo La La so much I have chocolate drool.

  • Title: Moo La La! Cow Goes Shopping
  • Author: Stephanie Shaw
  • Illustrator: Becka Moor
  • Reading level: From 2 years
  • Date published: Dec 29, 2016
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster
  • Country: UK
  • Country printed in: China
  • Printing: Details currently unavailable

Australia’s celebrated children’s book writer and educationalist Mem Fox once said: “When I say to a parent, ‘read to a child’, I don’t want it to sound like medicine. I want it to sound like chocolate.” Moo La La is the chocolate of farm animal stories. It’s not ‘functional’ chocolate like the Snickers you gobble down when there’s no time for breakfast. It’s the chocolate fountain at your best gay’s coming out party you want to double and triple dip your strawberries in. I love Moo La La so much I have chocolate drool.

3 things:

1. COMEDY

Shaw anthropomorphises Cow but still allows Cow to be her bovine self, which sets up the comedy. Cow has the qualities of a curious, petulant child but gets away with it both in the story and in my real life reading world because of Shaw’s wit and ability to turn Cow’s mix of naivety and curiosity into unexpected funny situations. Shaw led me through the story and held me captive within it throughout.

2. GORGEOUS

The illustrations are beautiful—I especially like the mix of colours—and the quality of publishing is what you’d expect of Simon and Schuster. I read the soft cover version and the element of red glitter on the cover won me over. Picture books SHOULD physically appeal to the buyer, of course. You don’t often get that level of investment from a publisher, even if it was printed in China, probably at a lower cost compared to other markets.

3. ENTERTAINMENT, NOT EDUCATION

Ok now for the medicine. A book like Moo La La is truly to be enjoyed. If you wanted to educate a child about farm animals and where food comes from then this isn’t the book for that purpose. I used to have a romanticised idea about cows, that I could enjoy taking walks with my own cow and together we’ll laze around in meadows, until I took walks across farms in Derbyshire and Aberdeenshire in the UK. Rude awakening indeed. For the education bit? Best to take the child on a farm visit!