Suddenly Cow – Behind the Story

At first read, this may seem like a silly book. An absurd book. A puzzle of a book. A bizarre book, even. But is it, really?
Suddenly Cow, Book Cover, Teacher, Students, Cow, Blackboard
Suddenly Cow is written by Sowmya Rajendran, illustrated by Samidha Gunjal and published by Ms Moochie.

Recommended age for self-reading:
Regular 5+, Advanced 7+

Suddenly, A Cow Appears!

Suddenly Cow begins with Anu, her mother (Amma), and her breakfast (a bowl of upma). Anu doesn’t want to eat it and wonders what to do. Then- suddenly, a cow shows up at the table!

That’s right. A cow. A real-as-can-be, stocky, brown cow.

Why a Cow?

So why does a cow appear in the story all of a sudden? Award winning author, Sowmya Rajendran‘s inspiration comes from her experience with the total randomness and characters that appear out of nowhere, when children tell stories.

Sowmya explains how the cow is a perfect example of a “deux ex machina“.

Deux ex machina is a literary device where the author uses divine intervention or introduces another completely new element to change the course of events in a story.

Suddenly Cow story generated a lot of debate and discussion within our team of grown-ups, with many adult questions popping up, such as- “What is the point of a book?”, “Where is the conflict?” and especially “Why a cow?”.

For young children, however, we tend to forget that a lot of things just happen, seemingly all of a sudden. “When did this flower come here?”; “How did the food from the restaurant come home by itself?”; “Why is my grandmother inside the phone now?” and so on.

Perhaps this is why children love the story.

Samidha’s illustrations bring the story to life. We iterated further on the original sketches by making Anu’s mother seem more like a contemporary, working parent; and decided to have a cattle egret accompany the cow as these birds share a symbiotic relationship with cows.

We’ve seen many a reader chuckle at the egret today. Read the book and see if you feel the same way!

Have you read Suddenly Cow yet?

What did you think of the book?
Leave a comment below and let us know!
Hungry for more children’s writing? Don’t miss the Best of Indian Children’s Writing (BICW) – Contemporary Award List!

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