A lonely young calf longs to join the other cows he sees playing in the pasture across the road in Mona K. McVay’s children’s book Little Moo’s Big Adventure.
Day after day, Little Moo watches the cows across the road happily playing together. When he asks his mom if he can jump the fence to join them, she answers “no,” citing the dangers. But when she’s asleep, he unsuccessfully attempts to jump the fence.
The next day, he talks to Mr. Owl, Mr. Horse, and Mrs. Goose about escaping, and the three repeat versions of the proverb: “the grass is always greener on the other side.” Undaunted, Little Moo digs underneath both fences after a rain and finally makes it in. Here he meets Missy, a “cute, tan girl cow.” Meanwhile, another cow warns: “You can’t stay here in this field unless you want to…end up as a T-bone steak.” Eventually, Missy escapes her field, where cows are often taken to slaughter, to join Little Moo in his safe pasture.
Little Moo is an endearing character, but unfortunately, the story raises many unanswered questions: Why aren’t the cows in Little Moo’s pasture afraid they might be eaten? Are they milking cows? Why didn’t Little Moo wait until the gate was open and simply walk through? (After all, he tells Missy that when his owners leave, “they usually leave the gate open.”) And when Mrs. Goose tells Little Moo that “God provides for us very well here…,” readers will wonder: why doesn’t God protect the cows across the road from being slaughtered?
There’s also an inappropriate emphasis on the female cows’ appearances (e.g., when Little Moo tells Missy “I spotted you right off and just knew it would be worth coming over to check you out”).
Although the illustrations have a primitive charm, they lack professional polish.
Overall, the story requires revision for clarity and consistency before it’s likely to appeal to young readers.
Also available as an ebook.