A high-stakes adventure and hilarious ode to self-esteem for fans of Oliver Jeffers, Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, and Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken.
Nadine can talk a blue streak, and one day she tells a real whopper: she isn't afraid of anything--no siree! Then her friends call her bluff, and Nadine must enter. . .The Deep. Dark. Woods. Only the woods aren't so scary after all, until the sun sets, that is, and Nadine can't find her friends. What is this boastful bovine to do? Run around in blind terror? Plummet off a cliff? Crash into a stream? Check, check, and check. But is all lost? Doubtful. After all, she is cow, hear her MOOOOOOOOO!
When readers meet Nadine, she's positioning herself among her sister cows as possessing superhero-like courage: " Not lightning?' asked Starla. Loud noises? A rat?'/ I'm not scared,' Nadine boasted, of any of that.' " Much to Nadine's surprise, the cows insist she lead them on an expedition to the scary woods. The outing begins well enough, but after dark falls and Nadine's fear gets the best of her, she turns the lack of witnesses to her advantage: "She was scared of the woods./ But so what? She could smile/ because nobody knew it./ (At least for a while.)" Gordon (Herman and Rosie), whose animal comedy is in the same goofy-yet-expertly-composed vein as Betsy Lewin and Nadine Bernard Westcott, combines watercolor, crayons, and pencil with witty collage touches; in one scene, Nadine and her friends climb a tree made entirely of taped-together strips of green paper. Esbaum's (I Hatched!) breezy verse lesson, which essentially boils down to "Fake it 'til you make it," is a refreshing, down-to-earth twist on oft-seen picture-book moralizing. Ages 3 5. Author's agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. Illustrator's agent: Charlie Olson, InkWell Management.