The New Baby Calf


30 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-590-71405-8





Nancy Gray-Didzbalis was editor of the quarterly magazine, Cloth Doll News.


This is a wonderful book! The story, told through an enchanting poem by Edith Newlin Chase, introduces the young child not only to poetry but also to life on the farm and relationships between mother and child (or, in this case, calf).

Buttercup, the cow, has a new baby calf to love and care for. The story explores the loving way Buttercup teaches her calf and enriches its first few months of life. The underlying message of the story is that of a loving mother who, through patience and guidance, gives her child the courage to grow, to discover.

What makes this book so special is the creative way artist Barbara Reid chose to illustrate the book. Her use of plasticine to illustrate each page is ingenious. Her pictures seem to jump out at the reader. Each page is in full color with a fascinating use of shapes, sizes, texture, and color. Each time a child (or an adult, for that matter) looks at the illustrations something new will appear. Reid’s imagination, obvious talent, and sharp sense of detail only serves to enhance this tale.

Without such strong illustrations, the book would have been just another cute poem about a farm animal. The illustrations make the words, and in turn the story, come alive for the very young and young at heart!!


Chase, Edith Newlin, and Barbara Reid, “The New Baby Calf,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 21, 2024,