When twelve-year-old Reena's family decides to move from the city to coastal Maine, Reena imagines lupines and lobsters and beautiful rocky coastlines. She is definitely not anticipating her and her younger brother Luke being enlisted by a prickly, reclusive neighbor to help her take care of her animals, particularly an ornery cow named Zora. But like it or not, that's exactly what happens.
Maine is lovely, just like Reena had imagined. But cows? Not so much. Zora is irascible, stinky, and stubborn--not to mention ENORMOUS--and is as, er, uninterested in getting to know Reena as Reena is in taking care of her. But there's more to "that cow" than meets the eye, and with the help of two kids from a local farm, Reena and Luke slowly begin to feel a sense of belonging--with Zora, with Mrs. Falala, and with their new home.
Written in an engaging combination of free verse and prose, Moo is a warm, satisfying story about siblings, friendship, and the magic that can happen when you step out of your comfort zone. The writing is spare, but each character is deftly created and irresistible--including the cows! Like Reena, Creech lives in Maine, a fact that's made clear from her evocative descriptions of Reena's town and local county fairs, and while the basic plot isn't one I've never seen before, her distinctive storytelling makes the story fresh and amusing. Hopeful and heartwarming, I would highly recommend Moo to readers ages eight and up.