Sunday, 30 October 2005

Book Review: Where's My Cow? (Terry Pratchett)

Sorry for the lack of updates since Thursday. Been busy (but mostly lazy. hehe).

Anyway, for this weekend's Hopefully-Weekly Book Review, I'm gonna review something I've never reviewed before... a Children's PICTURE BOOK!

And for the record, it's the third straight book by Pratchett that I've reviewed in the past few weeks. Wow.

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Title: Where's My Cow?
Author: Terry Pratchett

Synopsis:
A Discworld picture book for people of all sizes.

At six o'clock every day, without fail, with no excuses, Sam Vimes must go home to read Where's My Cow?, with all the right farmyard noises, to his little boy. There are some things you have to do. It is the most loved and chewed book in the world.

But his father wonders why it is full of moo-cows and baa-lambs when Young Sam will only ever see them cooked on a plate. He can think of a more useful book for a boy who lives in a city.

So Sam Vimes starts adapting the story. A story with streets, not fields. A book with rogues and villains. A book about the place where he'll grow up.

(Synopsis taken from Amazon.co.uk)

What I liked:
  • It's Pratchett, it's Discworld.
  • Nice to see familiar Discworld characters like Foul Ol' Ron, Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler and so on in the book
  • Kids will probably love it. It's colourful, it's funny, and you can act out all the characters for a good laugh.
  • Nice little accompaniment to Thud!.

What I didn't like:
  • The PRICE! GAH! THE PRICE! GAH! *Faints*
  • The art makes Young Sam Vimes look like Gollum at times...
  • Those unfamiliar with Discworld might not 'get' it very much
  • Some parts don't flow along very well as a children's book should.

What I think:
This may be Pratchett, and it may be a Discworld book, but it is NOT, I repeat, NOT a NOVEL. It's a PICTURE BOOK, and as such, it's catered towards CHILDREN. So to all those grown-up fans who bought the book hoping that Pratchett had written a Picture Book Novel for YOU ala The Last Hero, forget it.

What we DO get is a decent enough children's picture book, with lots of colourful pictures and funny content. Adults will probably be left cold and wondering what the fuss is all about, and balking at the high price point, but kids should probably like it.

So if you you wanna get your kids started early (and I mean REALLY early) on Pratchett's books, why not read Where's My Cow? to him or her? After all, even if the story itself doesn't make sense, you and your kid would probably have a lot of fun imitating a Hippopotamus by going "HRUUUUGH!" or imitating Foul Ol' Ron by going "BUGRIT!".

If you're a BIG fan of Pratchett (like me), and absolutely MUST have EVERY book he has ever written (like me), then get it. If you have a kid you can read this to, then you could read it to your kid (though the price might be a deterrent).

Otherwise, it's not really good value for money for the casual reader. Oh Bugrit.

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