Thursday, March 2, 2017

A Calf is Born by Kiyonori Kaizuki

I was searching for a book that was never found in the library recently when I saw a book with "A Calf is Born" on the spine. I was expecting a photographic dissertation on the process, but instead, I found this sweet watercolor delight. 

My nice plastic cows. I always pine for expensive wooden ones, but then I realize I could buy four or five books for the price of one little wooden cow (no, seriously) and I stick with my random assortment of plastic animals from who knows where. I think this calf was from Grandma and the cow was from a jumble at the thrift store. They do match the brown nicely. 

Of course, I grew up on a farm, my brother is a farmer, my Dad is a farmer, my father-in-law is a rancher, so I am a teensy bit obsessed with cows. Not the kind of obsession that leads to checked wallpaper borders with cows sprinkled throughout or the like, but still, obsessed. So my delight at this book might not be shared by all my five loyal readers. 

Barnyard in the moonlight! 

A calf being born. Right there. 
Unless you are cool with questions about this process or your kids have seen this happen enough that they know that is just how it happens, you might want to avoid this. Because that is totally fascinating. Whaaaat? Babies come how?! I felt like that after giving birth for the first time--WHY did that happen like that? 

On a side note, as a farmer, my normally easily embarrassed brother discusses birth and babies quite naturally. One day he was discussing with my sister how beneficial her Raisin Bran habit probably was to her milk production. This from the guy who blushes when someone says "Fallopian tube." The downside was that he compared my sister-in-law's pregnancies to a cow each time."Well with a cow..." She quickly grew tired of that. 

Licking the baby

Trying to stand. I love pictures of calves!!

Then the calf wanders out to observe the world. 

But something is wrong with the calf. 

The vet soon puts that right. Actually, I don't really know what is wrong with the calf. I am used to know cow's ailments, but I am clueless here. 

Also, this is when I realized this book was actually written in Japan. I had just assumed the author was American. 

I mean, this looks so like a bajillion pictures I have seen of the American West. Apparently Japan has places like this. Who knew? This should not be surprising to me, since I learned about Kobe beef in Animal Science class in college. Still, I think of Japan having a higher population density that wouldn't allow for these kind of expanses. 

It makes me happy that Japan has wide open spaces like this. And that they put cows in those spaces. It is the right and proper thing to do with spaces. (Don't mind me inflicting my love of bovine to other cultures.)


The novelty of the world! 

Spring is coming!

And finally, the calf settles down with his mother to discuss the day. 


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