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Pamela Allen is a phenomenon in the world of children's literature. For almost thirty years her picture books have enchanted generations of children in Australia and overseas and many of her titles have won prestigious awards and commendations. She has earned classic status through the enduring popularity of her stories with the very young. Pamela's books are full of the music of language; they are 'fragments of theatre', designed to be read aloud and shared between an adult and a child. Eight of Pamela's titles were adapted for the stage by Patch Theatre Company, and performed in the Sydney Opera House. In 2004, Grandpa and Thomas won the Children's Book Council Book of the Year Award- Early Childhood and The Potato People was named an Honour Book in the same category in 2003, and Grandpa and Thomas and the Green Umbrella was shortlisted for the same award in 2007, as was Shhh! Little Mouse in 2008. Is Your Grandmother a Goanna? won a 2008 Speech Pathology of Australia Book of the Year Award, as did Our Daft Dog Danny in 2010. 'From Pamela Allen's first publication in 1980 it was clear that here was a creator of picture books with all the glow, gesture, din and dance to capture the attention, engage the imagination, teach, show, tickle and excite small children.' Me


Cross-dressing is Old Tom's curious solution when a stubborn cow, Belinda, refuses to be milked by anyone but the farmer's errand-bound wife. Milk, mayhem and moiré add up to gallons of fun. Ages 3-7. (Feb.)

PreS-Gr 2-Bessie and Old Tom enjoy their serene life in the country and vigorously attack their personal chores to keep things on an even keel; every day, she milks Belinda and he works in the garden. However, events take a drastic turn for Old Tom when Bessie visits her daughter in the city overnight. The highly responsible job of milking the cow is then delegated to him-and Belinda has a mind of her own. But this man refuses to be bested by the animal and comes up with the perfect solution: he puts on his wife's pink dress, rubber boots, and straw hat, and lo and behold, the cow thinks he's her beloved mistress. The final result is milk in abundance. Allen delivers a zany story of stubbornness and determination through a simple text that bounces along with a light and breezy tone. Its clever use of repetition and crisp sentences beg to be read aloud. The watercolor illustrations with India-ink crosshatchings are manipulated with great flair to create small, comical figures that are often shown in a series to create an animated effect. Children will revel in the sheer silliness and appreciate the creative solution.-Debra S. Gold, Parma Heights Library, Parma, OH

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