Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

A Symphony of Cowbells

A Symphony of Cowbells

Heather Preusser
Illustrator:  Eileen Ryan Ewen 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Sleeping Bear Press, 2017   ISBN: 978-1585369683

Every spring day the cows in Grimmelwald walk up to the high meadows where the grass is sweet and fresh. This is the kind of grass that makes it possible for the cows to produce delicious milk, which in turn is turned into delicious cheese.

The cows all wear cow bells so that they can be found if they wander off, and Elfi wears the biggest and loudest bell of all. One day Petra goes to where the cows are waiting in the meadow and she immediately notices that something is wrong; Elfi’s bell is missing. Petra’s father insists that Elfi has to go up to the meadow as usual, but the cow refuses to do so. Even when Petra gives her a new bell to wear, Elfi will not budge. Worse still, all the other cows lie down. As long as Elfi’s bell is missing, as long as the harmony of the cow bells is askew, the cows won’t move from the low meadow. Petra is going to have to find the missing bell, and she better find it soon.

Children are going to love this charming story with its musically inclined bovine characters. Readers will notice that they are provided with clues to solve the mystery. The clues are presented in the form of a parallel tale that is drawn into the borders of the art. These clues point to the identity of the thief who is responsible for the loss of Elfi’s bell.