- Missouri Show Me Award finalist 2019-2020
- Florida Literacy Association’s Children’s Book Award nominee 2018-2019
- Missouri’s choice to represent the state at the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. on September 2, 2017!
BIG NEWS! I’m selling personalized and autographed copies of PRUDENCE THE PART-TIME COW for $15 (S&H included, US only)! Just email me, and I’ll get back with you! Thanks so much for your support!
Illustrated by Stephanie Laberis
Henry Holt, June 13, 2017
Prudence looks like a full-time cow—she wanders through pastures, she swats flies, and she lines up for supper. But Prudence is a part-time cow—she is also a scientist, an architect, and an inventor, studying and building and dreaming and creating. To the other cows in the herd, Prudence is a bit too part-time. She’s just too different to be part of the herd. At first Prudence tries to fit in, suppressing all her scientific smarts and imaginative inventing. But in a moment of inspiration—Cow Power!—Prudence realizes how to show the others that she can be a part-time cow and a full-time member of the herd. Funny and sweet, this is a story for anyone who’s ever felt a bit different.
July 11, 2017 Celebrate Picture Books
“Jody Jensen Shaffer’s moooving and funny story of a cow with a scientific bent will delight kids. Little ones who think differently will empathize with Prudence’s wish to be herself while also fitting in with the herd. As the cows stand around in a pond and huddle under a tree, Shaffer offers a wink to the crowd mentality and peer pressure that can foster inaction and clone-like behavior. Prudence makes a gentle, but determined role model as a thinker who won’t be cowed by others’ opinions. Prudence the Part-Time Cow would be a wonderful addition to school and classroom libraries as well as to home bookshelves.”
May 1, 2017 Publisher’s Weekly
“Shaffer (The Way the Cookie Crumbled) creates a sympathetic outsider in Prudence, whose dedication to self-betterment—and the sciences—should resonate with any reader who feels pigeonholed or underappreciated.”
School Library Journal
“K-Gr 2–Prudence looks and acts like any other cow, but in reality, she’s only a part-time pasture resident. A lifelong reader, she is also a scientist and architect, and she peruses the pages of Bovine Engineering in her spare time. The rest of the cows don’t see her as “normal” and certainly NOT “part of the herd.” Prudence calculates water temperature and wind speed while standing in the pond, counts the calves as they leave the water, and comes up with inventions to help her friends, but the other cows insist, “She’ll never be one of us.” Colorful digital art with cartoon humor gives readers plenty of visual clues while Prudence suffers humiliation and attempts to establish her place. It takes a bit of “Cow Power” as Prudence harnesses her creative strengths to find her role among the other cows. Readers will appreciate her newly expanded role and her determination to be a full-time member of the herd. VERDICT A recommended general purchase for libraries with budding scientists and persistent, late-night readers. This tale speaks to creative minds just trying to fit in.”–Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano Independent School District, TX
May 15, 2017 Booklist
“Most of the time, Prudence doesn’t mind being a cow—grazing, lolling in the sun, and sleeping in the barn are all okeydokey—but the rest of the time, Prudence is eager to study her surroundings and build contraptions. The rest of the herd doesn’t have much patience for Prudence’s inventions, since her experiments often lead to mild mayhem in the barn. Soon, though, the other cows mock Prudence for her curiosity and odd devices, and the pink-coiffed bovine starts feeling downtrodden. She has a eureka moment, however, when she realizes she can build some contraptions to solve problems around the pasture, and the rest of the herd starts appreciating Prudence for her scientific mind. Laberis’ energetic, stylized illustrations of candy-colored, cartoonish cows perfectly capture the comical contrast between Prudence’s oblivious experiments and the subsequent havoc she wreaks on her fellow cows. Comics-style speech balloons and over-the-top reactions add to the levity, and the ultimate message of valuing differences is a great one. This merry, animated picture book will have storytime listeners rolling in the aisles.”
— Sarah Hunter
May 11, 2017 Jen Robinson’s Book Page
“Libraries looking for pro-STEM books, especially pro-STEM books with female characters, will definitely want to give Prudence the Part-Time Cow a look. Recommended!”
May 2, 2017 Unpacking the Power of Picture Books
“This is an original take on a non-conforming cow, incorporating elements of peer-pressure and bullying, expressing individuality, and adding a dose of STEM topics into the mix. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Prudence and her herd are cows you’ll want to meet.”
April 11, 2017 Little Crooked Cottage
“Snappy text + humorous details in the illustrations + a message of individuality (with some girl… er… cow-power thrown in) = a satisfying read.”
Kids Author Stays Busy During Fall, Winter, January 2019, Courier-Tribune