Monday, February 10, 2014

The Cow in Patrick O'Shanahan's Kitchen, by Diana Prichard (illustrated by Heather Devlin Knopf)

The Cow in Patrick O'Shanahan's Kitchen
Author: Diana Prichard
Illustrator: Heather Devlin Knopf
Publisher: Little Pickle Press
Publication Date: November 25, 2013
Source: NetGalley, Edelweiss
View on Amazon

Patrick O'Shanahan wakes up one morning to find his father making French toast. Except instead of milk, eggs and syrup, he finds a cow, some hens and a maple tree in his kitchen. He has to gather the ingredients straight from the source!

I think this book is a case of a great idea not taken far enough. I would have liked more hijinks (a la "If You Give a Pig a Pancake") or a silly cumulative rhyme (a la "The House That Jack Built"), maybe involving Patrick O'Shanahan's name. Why give the character such a great name if it's not going to factor into the story at all?

And at the end (spoiler alert!) Patrick wakes up to find a pig in his kitchen and the smell of bacon. But unlike getting milk from a cow, sap from a tree or eggs from a hen, this means that Patrick is supposed to slaughter a pig in his kitchen! The book ends and (obviously) doesn't show it, but it made for a down note at the end, not the funny ending I think the author may have been going for.

Magda's take: How do farmers actually kill pigs for bacon? It's not in the kitchen, is it? Also, I didn't know you could make your own syrup from trees! That's so interesting!

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