‘Cow in a Crash Helmet’ revs up kids’ reading

A new book about a little cow called Myrtle who has big ideas, has just been published. ‘Cow In A Crash Helmet’ was written by Pauline Tucker and published by Onion Custard Kids, part of wordcatcher.com.

Myrtle is so excited by the powerful motorbike whizzing past the farm gate that she decides to get one of her own. She sets about earning the money by doing odd jobs around the farm – babysitting calves, seeing ducks across the road – that’s the easy bit.

She attempts to ride the motorbike, with help from Tom the sheepdog and the other animals, with varying levels of success. Add hang gliding and water skiing to her adventures and you’ve got ‘Cow In A Crash Helmet’.

‘A very curious cow’

“I’ve always been interested in motorbikes and have ridden pillion for many years, although I’ve never had my own,” said Pauline.

The character of Myrtle was inspired by a very curious cow I knew, who had a habit of following me around and nosing in my pocket for cow cake. I started to wonder where her curiosity could lead her and riding a motorbike seemed a good idea. After that hang gliding and water skiing were the obvious things for her to try.

Released at the end of 2020, ‘Cow in a Crash Helmet’ is available online from wordcatcher.com; Waterstones; hive.co.uk; and Amazon. A sample can be read on Google Books.

“Children from aged three upwards love to listen to Myrtle’s escapades, and independent readers aged six plus will enjoy reading the stories themselves,” Pauline said.

“I was born in Bristol, with no farming contacts at all. At 16, I was going out with a lad who worked on a farm and I did briefly live on a dairy farm in my 20s. I’ve been in Somerset since 1991 and currently live in Cheddar with my partner,” she said.

“I have two children; Alice is 21 and Ben is 15. Alice has done an agricultural apprenticeship and now works for a local John Deere dealership.

“I work part-time in our local garden centre and write when I can, in between looking after the family, painting and sewing. Myrtle was invented many years ago when I was off work for a few months and boredom led me to start writing stories again,” said Pauline.

“I’d always enjoyed writing at school and it was good to let my imagination run wild and see where I ended up. I sent the manuscript to various publishers over the years, but it wasn’t until I contacted illustrator Basil Waite and he showed it to publishers he had worked with that everything fell into place.

“I’m hoping ‘Cow In A Crash Helmet’ will be the first of a series and have written stories for at least two more books. I’m also working on one involving an unusual take on the world of fairy tales but I’m concentrating on Myrtle at the moment.”