Never. Not a chance. Annalisa wouldn't dream of kissing Luella the cow, even though her mother kisses her every day after singing her a song and milking her. Still, inquisitive Annalisa is awfully interested in milking Luella, and one day she sneaks off and does everything just the way her mother does--all except for the kiss on the nose. The next day, Luella refuses to give any milk. And the day after that is the same. Annalisa's mother and her many brothers and sisters beg the stubborn little girl to relent, but Annalisa says "Never!... Never, never, never." Will the whole family have to live without milk and cheese forever. Or will Annalisa's innate curiosity get the best of her.
Phyllis Root says, "I did not know what it was actually like to kiss a cow. So I went to the State Fair with every intention of kissing a cow. But when I got to the cow barn, there were all these 4-H kids who had raised their cows and were so proud of them. Somehow it didn't feel respectful to ask if I could kiss their cows." Will Hillenbrand says he drew on memories of summers spent on a farm with his aunt and uncle and their thirteen children. "My cousins were full of practical jokes for me--the city kid--like squirting my face while milking the cow. My aunt was incredible. She never stopped working and could never imagine not working. It was such a warm, lively place, and I hope that comes through in the pictures." He also admits to trying to kiss a cow on a farm in Wisconsin. "I was willing," he recalls, "but the cow wasn't."
A satisfying treat--from the front endpapers, which depict a multitude of children jumping from a hayloft to the final endpapers of satiated faces with milk mustaches. Certain to be a hit with kids and adults, this deserves a big smooch.--Kirkus Review (starred review) A good discussion starter on curiosity and its consequences, it also provides an example of a stubborn character backing down. Flowing language makes it a fun read aloud.--School Library Journal