Pretend Cows by Nicola Davies and Cathy Fisher published by Graffeg

Fifth title in the Country Tales by Nicola Davies publishes

Social and familial issues are brought to the fore in Nicola Davies‘s latest addition to the Country Tales series of children’s stories.

Pretend Cows is a new addition to the Country Tales series for children by award-winning writer Nicola Davies with illustrations by Cathy Fisher, previous collaborators on the CILIP Greenaway Medal long-listed titles Perfect and The Pond and the latest to guide young readers through challenging topics.

With the stresses and anxieties of modern life increasingly affecting young people in society, Nicola Davies’s latest title, Pretend Cows, explores how one girl’s optimism and engagement with the natural world help her navigate through health scares, financial difficulties and coping with change on her parent’s farm. The Country Tales series emotively portrays relatable characters for children who might be facing similar difficulties.

Maxy is upset when her parents’ farm is left without animals after a health scare, but she keeps their memory alive looking after her own ‘pretend cows’. When her mum falls ill whilst expecting Maxy’s new sibling, her father starts to keep chickens, which helps Maxy adapt to the loss of her beloved animals and the challenges of the birth as she encourages a stubborn hen to settle into its new home and lay eggs.

Pretend Cows illustration by Cathy Fisher

Country Tales is a series of six illustrated short stories set in the countryside, mixing previously published titles about girls, from the book Up on the Hill, and original stories about boys. Each is gently told in spare, lyrical prose, accessible for children new to reading alone but with enough deeper emotional content to be returned to and read again and again and satisfy more fluent and older readers.

Praise for the Country Tales series:

‘This tale of courage and love is potent and moving throughout; I couldn’t put it down.’ Red Reading Hub

‘Engaging, compelling, thoughtful and simply lovely. They will become favourites!’ Fallen Star Stories

‘Nicola Davies has created another brilliant wildlife story for young readers in this part of a series of six beautifully illustrated books with Cathy Fisher. The story is ideal for upper primary readers, and, as ever, mixes a strong emotional connection with animals with fascinating detail.’ BookTrust

Pretend Cows published in paperback format on 4 August, having been published in May 2020 as an eBook.

Country Tales Series