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Similar in premise to Tres Seymour's Hunting the White Cow (1993), but far from that tale's delicate serenity, this wild romp pits young Ida Mae against no fewer than 26 strayed cattle-each portrayed as a different breed in Hoyt's broadly comic scenes. So where have those bumptious bovines gotten to? Though you'd barely know it from Ida Mae's irritated, country-cadenced commentary, everyone here, two-legged and four-, is a circus performer. Ida Mae's "farmhouse" is a rolling Fun House, she gets around atop a zebra, her Mom chops wood by throwing axes and the decidedly loose-jointed livestock have invaded the neighbors' yards to practice wire-walking, chair-balancing and other acrobatic acts. By the end, the errant have been coaxed back to home pastures, and Ida Mae is left in her favorite position-hanging upside down from a tree limb-dreaming of bovines beneath the Big Top. Further proof that cows are funny; young audiences will line up for return admission to this show. (Picture book. 6-8)