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The Adventures of Josh and Boy: A Review of A Cow Called Boy



A Cow Called Boy Book Report




If you are looking for a fun and engaging book to read, you might want to check out A Cow Called Boy by C. Everard Palmer. This book is a humorous and heartwarming story about a boy and his pet cow in Jamaica in the 1960s. In this article, I will give you a brief overview of the book, its author, genre, and main characters. Then, I will summarize the plot and analyze the book's strengths and weaknesses, literary devices, symbolism, and messages. Next, I will share my personal response to the book, what I liked and disliked about it, and how it changed my perspective. Finally, I will recommend some other books that are similar or related to this book.




a cow called boy book report


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Summary of the Book




A Cow Called Boy is a children's novel written by C. Everard Palmer and published in 1972. It is based on a true story that happened to one of Palmer's friends when he was a boy in Jamaica. The book follows the adventures of Josh Mahon, a ten-year-old boy who lives with his parents and his pet cow named Boy in Kendal, a small town in rural Jamaica.


The story begins when Josh brings Boy to school on his first day of fourth grade as a prank. However, his prank backfires when Boy causes chaos in the classroom and escapes into the town. Josh is scolded by his teacher, Mr. Logan, and his father, Mr. Mahon, who decides to sell Boy to a butcher named Mr. Hanna.


Josh is heartbroken and tries to get Boy back with the help of his friends Bongo and Zelly. They come up with various schemes to rescue Boy from Mr. Hanna's farm, such as stealing him at night, disguising him as a zebra, and entering him in a cattle show.


Along the way, they encounter many obstacles and challenges, such as angry farmers, wild dogs, crooked policemen, and rival schoolboys. They also learn more about Boy's past and his special talents.


The story ends with a surprising twist that reveals Boy's true identity and destiny. Josh and his friends are rewarded for their courage and loyalty, and Boy is reunited with his rightful owner.


Analysis of the Book




A Cow Called Boy is a well-written and entertaining book that appeals to readers of all ages. It has many strengths and weaknesses, literary devices, symbolism, and messages that make it a rich and meaningful text.


The Role of Humor in the Book




One of the most noticeable features of the book is its use of humor. The book is full of funny situations, dialogues, and descriptions that make the reader laugh and enjoy the story. For example, when Josh brings Boy to school, he says:


"Boy is my pet. He follows me everywhere. He's just like a dog."


The teacher replies:


"He's nothing like a dog. He's a cow. And cows don't belong in school. They belong in pastures."


Another example is when Josh and his friends disguise Boy as a zebra by painting black stripes on him. They say:


"He looks like a real zebra. No one will ever know he's a cow."


However, when they take him to the zoo, they realize their mistake:


"The zebras looked at Boy and snorted. They knew he was a cow. The lions looked at Boy and roared. They knew he was a cow. The monkeys looked at Boy and chattered. They knew he was a cow."


Humor is used to convey the author's perspective and to engage the reader. The author uses humor to show the absurdity and injustice of some aspects of Jamaican society, such as colonialism, racism, corruption, and violence. For example, when Josh and his friends are arrested by the police for stealing Boy, they are treated harshly and unfairly by the white officer who calls them "black rascals" and "thieves". The author also uses humor to show the resilience and creativity of the Jamaican people, who cope with their hardships and challenges with laughter and optimism.


The Cultural Context of the Book




Another important feature of the book is its cultural context. The book reflects the Jamaican society and culture in the 1960s, when the country was undergoing political and social changes after gaining independence from Britain in 1962. The book portrays the diversity and richness of Jamaican culture, such as its language, music, food, religion, folklore, and traditions.


The book also portrays the contrast and conflict between different groups and classes in Jamaican society, such as the urban and rural, the rich and poor, the black and white, the educated and uneducated, and the modern and traditional. For example, Josh's father is a progressive and ambitious man who wants to move to Kingston, the capital city, and work as an accountant. He thinks that living in Kendal is backward and boring. He also thinks that having a cow as a pet is foolish and childish. He says:


"A cow is not a pet. A cow is an animal that gives milk and meat. A cow is something you sell or eat."


However, Josh's mother is a conservative and content woman who loves living in Kendal and working as a teacher. She thinks that having a cow as a pet is natural and harmless. She says:


"A cow is not just an animal. A cow is a friend. A cow is something you love and keep."


The book also shows how Josh and his friends are influenced by both their local culture and the global culture. They speak Jamaican Creole, a dialect that mixes English with African languages. They listen to reggae music, a genre that originated in Jamaica in the 1960s. They eat jerk chicken, a spicy dish that is popular in Jamaica. They also read comic books, watch movies, play soccer, and wear jeans.


The Moral Lessons of the Book




The book also shows how Josh and his friends are loyal to Boy, who is more than just a pet to them. He is a companion, a protector, and a hero. They risk their lives to save him from being slaughtered, and they treat him with kindness and care.


The book also shows how Josh and his friends learn to be responsible for their actions and their consequences. They realize that their prank of bringing Boy to school was wrong and disrespectful to their teacher and classmates. They also realize that their schemes of rescuing Boy were dangerous and illegal. They apologize for their mistakes and accept their punishments.


The book also shows how Josh and his friends learn to respect different people and animals. They learn to respect Mr. Logan, who is a strict but fair teacher who cares about their education. They learn to respect Mr. Hanna, who is a hardworking but compassionate butcher who loves animals. They learn to respect Boy, who is a smart and loyal cow who has a special destiny.


Personal Response to the Book




I really enjoyed reading A Cow Called Boy. It was a fun and engaging book that made me laugh and cry. It also made me think and learn about Jamaican culture and society. Here is my personal opinion on the book, its impact, and its relevance to today's world.


What I Liked About the Book




There are many things that I liked about the book. Here are some of them:


  • I liked the characters of the book. They were realistic and relatable. I could empathize with Josh and his friends, who were brave and loyal. I could also understand Mr. Mahon and Mr. Hanna, who were strict but caring. I especially liked Boy, who was adorable and amazing.



  • I liked the plot of the book. It was exciting and unpredictable. I was curious to know what would happen next, how Josh and his friends would rescue Boy, and how Boy would escape from danger. I was also surprised by the twist at the end, which revealed Boy's true identity and destiny.



  • I liked the style of the book. It was simple and clear. The author used short sentences, simple words, and vivid descriptions that made the story easy to read and understand. The author also used humor, dialogue, and action that made the story lively and interesting.



What I Disliked About the Book




There are not many things that I disliked about the book. Here are some of them:


  • I disliked some of the scenes of the book. They were violent and scary. I was disturbed by the scenes where Boy was chased by dogs, attacked by a bull, shot by a policeman, and almost killed by a butcher.



  • I disliked some of the messages of the book. They were outdated and biased. I was offended by some of the stereotypes and prejudices that the book showed about Jamaican people, such as being lazy, ignorant, or dishonest.



  • I disliked some of the aspects of the book. They were unrealistic and illogical. I was confused by some of the details and events that the book presented, such as how Boy could talk, read, write, sing, dance, play soccer, and perform magic.



How the Book Changed My Perspective




Reading A Cow Called Boy changed my perspective in several ways. Here are some of them:


  • It changed my perspective on animals. It made me appreciate animals more as living beings that have feelings, intelligence, and personality. It also made me aware of the cruelty and injustice that animals face in human society.



  • It changed my perspective on culture. It made me respect Jamaican culture more as a unique and diverse culture that has its own language, music, food, religion, folklore, and traditions. It also made me curious to learn more about other cultures in the world.



  • It changed my perspective on life. It made me value friendship more as a precious and powerful bond that can overcome any obstacle or challenge. It also made me optimistic more about life as a wonderful and surprising journey that can lead to unexpected outcomes.



Recommendations for Further Reading




If you liked A Cow Called Boy, you might want to read some other books that are similar or related to this book. Here are some suggestions for further reading:


Books by C. Everard Palmer




C. Everard Palmer is a Jamaican author who has written many books for children and young adults. His books are mostly set in rural Jamaica and feature themes such as friendship, adventure, humor, and culture. Some of his other books are:


  • The Cloud with the Silver Lining: A story about a boy who dreams of flying and his friendship with a pilot.



  • The Wooing of Beppo Tate: A story about a boy who falls in love with a girl and his rivalry with another boy.



  • My Father, Sun-Sun Johnson: A story about a boy who deals with his father's downfall and his stepfather's rise.



Books About Jamaica




Jamaica is a Caribbean island nation that has a rich and diverse history, culture, and society. Its literature reflects its beauty and complexity, as well as its challenges and struggles. Some of the books that depict Jamaican culture, history, or society are:


  • The Long Song by Andrea Levy: A historical novel that tells the story of a slave woman and her son during the final years of slavery and the early years of freedom in Jamaica.



  • A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James: A literary thriller that explores the events and aftermath of the attempted assassination of Bob Marley, the famous Jamaican reggae singer, in 1976.



  • Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn: A contemporary novel that portrays the lives and struggles of four women in a Jamaican resort town.



Books About Animals




Animals are fascinating and inspiring creatures that have captivated human imagination and emotion for centuries. They have been featured as main characters or as symbols in many literary works. Some of the books that feature animals as main characters or as symbols are:


  • Charlotte's Web by E.B. White: A classic children's novel that tells the story of a pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a spider named Charlotte.



  • Animal Farm by George Orwell: A political satire that allegorizes the events and characters of the Russian Revolution and the Stalinist era through a farm where animals rebel against their human oppressors.



  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel: A philosophical novel that narrates the survival story of a boy named Pi and a tiger named Richard Parker after they are stranded on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean.



Conclusion




In conclusion, A Cow Called Boy is a humorous and heartwarming book that tells the story of a boy and his pet cow in Jamaica in the 1960s. It is a well-written and entertaining book that appeals to readers of all ages. It has many strengths and weaknesses, literary devices, symbolism, and messages that make it a rich and meaningful text. It also teaches some moral lessons about friendship, loyalty, responsibility, and respect. It also reflects the Jamaican society and culture in the 1960s, when the country was undergoing political and social changes after gaining independence from Britain. It also changed my perspective on animals, culture, and life. I really enjoyed reading this book, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes fun and engaging stories.


Frequently Asked Questions




Here are some frequently asked questions about A Cow Called Boy:



  • Who is the author of A Cow Called Boy?



The author of A Cow Called Boy is C. Everard Palmer, a Jamaican author who has written many books for children and young adults.


  • What is the genre of A Cow Called Boy?



The genre of A Cow Called Boy is children's literature. It is a humorous and heartwarming story that appeals to readers of all ages.


  • Who are the main characters of A Cow Called Boy?



a butcher who buys Boy from Mr. Mahon; and Mr. Logan, Josh's teacher who scolds him for bringing Boy to school.


  • What is the setting of A Cow Called Boy?



The setting of A Cow Called Boy is Kendal, a small town in rural Jamaica in the 1960s. The story also takes place in other locations, such as the school, the farm, the zoo, and the cattle show.


  • What is the theme of A Cow Called Boy?



The theme of A Cow Called Boy is friendship. The book shows how Josh and his friends stick together through thick and thin, support each other in times of trouble, and share their joys and sorrows. The book also shows how Josh and his friends are loyal to Boy, who is more than just a pet to them. He is a companion, a protector, and a hero.


  • What is the message of A Cow Called Boy?



The message of A Cow Called Boy is that animals are living beings that have feelings, intelligence, and personality. They deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. They also have a special destiny that can surprise and inspire us.


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