First, it's Lally the rabbit who hops under Madge to take cover from the storm. Robinson the dog is next. Lally is a bit anxious about this — dogs chase rabbits — but these are unusual circumstances and Robinson puts his instincts aside. Fortunately, he's also able to refrain from biting the chicks when they join the party under Madge and hang off his ears!
It's raining even harder by the time Spike the echidna appears under Madge. There's just about no room left for anyone else now. But the storm shows no signs of dying down. Thunder crashes, lightning flashes. Lally, Robinson, Cackalina and her chicks, and Spike are nervous, but Madge is a brave cow and knows just what to do to keep them calm until the sun comes out again.
This is a gentle and engaging way of exploring the issue of safety with young kids. Where would it be safe to go in various circumstances? Who would be a safe person to seek out? Madge's calm courage in adversity and her ability to raise everyone's spirits are also valuable life lessons that young kids can only benefit from. As Madge so wisely points out: It's good to be in a safe place, but sometimes we have to be a safe place'.
A delightful dose of bovine wisdom!
Title: Underneath a Cow
Author: Carol Ann Martin
Illustrator: Ben Wood
Publisher: Omnibus, $24.99 RRP
Publication Date: August 2015
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book