Clovis Keeps His Cool

Page Street. Aug. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781645672135.
PreS-Gr 3–Clovis, a bull and former linebacker, takes over his granny’s shop, which is full of china. He has something of a temper, Clovis does, and anyone familiar with the problems of a bull in a china shop will probably tune right in to the action here. When rivals of his former team show up to heckle him and his new line of work, Clovis takes a breath and counts to 10. The next time they show up, he takes up the lotus position. Another time it’s soothing tea that keeps him calm. But when they smash one of Granny’s tea cups, Clovis can no longer keep his cool. The china carnage is serious, and when Clovis chases the hecklers into a corner, they are genuinely afraid. Memories of his granny return him to a state in which he can invite the assorted animals of this mocking cadre to tea, and in time, they clean up together. Clovis, a realistic, muscular bull, makes for a hilarious contrast against the dainty china of his tea shop, yet his gentle ways as he struggles to maintain his focus are fluid and believable. The value of a good cup of tea cannot be overstated in this book, but of similar value is the persistence of his rivals in reminding Clovis of his sporty side.
VERDICT The real deal, Clovis is a bull who shows that far older hero, Ferdinand, what provocation and pacifism look like, in a charmingly teachable story of stress.

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