This is the second volume in Smith's Bone series. If you haven't read the first book, you might want to skip to my thoughts, but there are no real spoilers.
My Summary: This adventure centers around the village of Barrelhaven's spring fair. Poor Fone thought he'd spend the fair days with Thorn, but she is flirting with Tom the honey seller. Meanwhile Phoney is back to his old tricks, setting up a betting scam with Smiley's help. Gran'ma Ben is practicing for the annual cow race, and the rat creatures are still craving a Fone Bone quiche. How will it all work out?
My Thoughts: This volume is even better than the first; I couldn't put the book down, and I read it all in a single sitting. The plot is getting more complex, with intertwining stories and hints that some characters are not what they seem to be. Although Smith had me laughing out loud, there seems to be a sinister side to life in the valley. It's not yet clear how this evil will affect the villagers and what role each individual character will play. The full-color art continues to be awesome.
Here is the best endorsement I can make: My husband doesn't like animation, doesn't read the comics, and doesn't like fantasy. But he was laughing so hard at the last chapter in the book (the only one he read) that he now wants to read the whole series. He was impressed with how easy it was to grasp the characters' personalities in just a few panels, and he was amazed by the details in the drawings and by how much information each panel conveyed.
Two days after finishing The Great Cow Race, I went to library to get volume 3. Volume 4 was out, but I put a hold on it. I bet I read through the series in short order.
I read this book to meet several challenges (listed below). To learn more about the challenges and to see what everyone else is reading, click on the title above the progress bar in the left margin.
Published by Scholastic, 2005
Challenges: Graphic Novel, A-Z Title, 100+, 999, Buy 1