Thursday, January 1, 2009

Review: An Occasional Cow

Horvath, Polly. An Occasional Cow. New York: FSG, 1985.

Imogene Spark understands summer. She knows what to expect. Imogene goes away to camp where she secludes herself in the craft room making wallets. Her occupation is not one of choice but necessity. Imogene lacks the skills to excel at athletics, so she makes wallets.

But that all changes the summer her camp burns down. Her parents decide to send her to Iowa to visit her cousins. Imogene is a New York City girl through and through. She is appalled at this turn of events. As Imogene tells her best friend Edie, "I am not going to camp this summer. I am not making wallets this summer. This summer, I am being sent to stay with my cousins and my aunt and my uncle and their pigs and mosquitoes and cows and cornfields and potato fields and probably other dangerous forms of wildlife in, and I hope you appreciate this, Iowa" (15).

While Imogene dreads the thought of spending her summer in such a rustic place, she's soon caught up in the antics of her cousins. They train pigs to curtsy, spy on neighbors, take moonlight swims, and hold regular meetings of the AGAC (Association of Great Agate Collectors), BTWS (Bathtub Walking Society), and LCCS (Laundry Chute Climbing Society).

What I thought: I was not disappointed in this book. When you read a book by Polly Horvath, you expect to laugh continuously. And I did. Imogene reminds me of Ivy from Horvath's When the Circus Came to Town. This book is definitely a light-hearted funny read. Perfect to read in the middle of winter or at the start of summer vacation.

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