No Moon No Milk Analysis

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No Moon, No Milk! by Chris Babcock and illustrated by Mark Teague, follows one cow’s dream to live up to her great-great-grandmother’s legacy of jumping over the moon. The author bases the picture book off of a popular children’s nursery rhyme by Mother Goose, “Hey, diddle diddle” known for its distinct imagery of a cow leaping over the moon. Martha Bovine wishes to surpass this feat, despite her owner’s skepticism and rational reasoning. This paper examines the use of text and image to serve a comedic purpose in the picture book, as both a tool to entertain and to educate. The story is plot-driven. A young man, Rob, tries to overcome the absurd impossibility of getting Martha to the moon; he seeks compromises, but Martha is determined. The…show more content…
Martha is self-aware, and disposes of human-like characteristics such as determination, perseverance, stubbornness, curiosity, creativity, etc. She could be defined as a subversive character, who seeks to go against the grain. She rebels from her cow duties, and seeks to accomplish greater deeds, like the cow-women who came before her, including her great-great-grandmother. She is obstinate, as can be seen through her numerous repetitions, which are employed throughout the picture book; Martha’s stubborn ultimatum: “No moon, no milk”, is a direct reference to the title, as well as the key hurdle which Rob must be resolved if he wishes to get milk. The picture book heavily relies on the absurd, and often portrays antithetic drawings that contradict the text. When Martha exclaims that “cows don’t surf”, the illustrator shows just that—a double spread of Martha on a surf board with Rob. The story uses a talking, thinking and feeling animal; anthropomorphism is heavily employed in the literary field of Children’s Literature, and No Moon, No Milk! continues in this
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