2011 Miss Milky Ray
orig. Miss Milky Ray (children's title)

Mercedes has been in a car accident. She has stiches on her tongue, and her speech is left unclear. In other respects, Mercedes is perfectly healthy, or at least as healthy as any other 8-year old. Whilst brushing her teeth one night, Mercedes finds a cow in the bath tub. It is not just any cow: it is a know-it-all cow by the name of Semi-Skimmed Tetra Rex Hytönen.

The cow later reappears at Mercedes’ house, and it soon becomes obvious that the meetings happen for a reason: Semi-Skimmed needs Mercedes’ help to win the Miss Milky Ray Prize, which is awarded every three years to the prettiest cow of the Meadow.

The task is not easy. You need to have many skills in this competition, and the most horrible cow in the Meadow, Mooretta, is doing everything in her powers to frighten Semi-Skimmed so that she will abandon the competition. Luckily Mercedes is never short of tricks up her sleeve! Leena Parkkinen’s children’s book Miss Milky Ray is a delightful and fast-moving story about clever Mercedes and her dignified but desperate cow-friend.

"Cow Belle Beauty Queen is an absolute joy to read! Funny, poignant and completely entertaining, it's Finnish author write in a style quite reminiscent of The Moomins books. With memorable characters, great pacing and peppered throughout with lively illustrations utterly suited to the story, this is one book to read alone or share with the whole family for laugh-out-loud moments. A book you won't soon forget!" Fallen Star Stories, Ireland

'When a book makes a 7-year-old laugh and gets her to ask questions (a lot of questions!), then it has to be a good book. Cow Belle is not only a great and well-illustrated story for children, it is a story that will appeal to adults, too." Inis magazine, Ireland

"The story is both wacky and funny but it also parodies society's obsession with appearance and weight." Books Ireland First Flush

"Leena Parkkinen has written a children’s book that also entertains adult readers. Miss Milky Ray contains elements of a good story: an unlikely but solid friendship, a common goal, unexpected turns of events, as well as daring rescue missions, baddies, goodies, biscuits and a chocolate thief. To this mix, Parkkinen has added a sprinkling of mischief, gentle humour and human wisdom. The end result is a fresh and vibrant children’s book that allows the reader's imagination to run wild." Kirjavinkit, Finland

"Miss Milky Ray is a miniature sized, nonsensical fairy that is spiced up by Camilla Pentti’s naivistic and insightful wood dye illustrations. (...) The fast-paced story includes themes of tolerance and individuality" Helsingin Sanomat, Finland

"It is wonderful to read a children’s book that also appeals to the adult reader. I particularly liked the cow that was treated so unsportingly – Semi-Skimmed Tetra Rex Hytönen – who decided to participate in the beauty competition.” Kotivinkki, Finland

"The story about the bovine competition and the friendship between the girl and the humane, biscuit-eating cow, is a boisterous and fast-moving fairy story. It is sufficiently thin and nicely illustrated to cater for young readers who are beginning to read proper books.” Maaseudun tulevaisuus, Finland

"The beginning of Miss Milky Ray reminds the reader of children’s novels written by the author’s father, Jukka Parkkinen. The author does not, however, copy her father. Instead, her writing skills appear to be inherited." Savon Sanomat, Finland

Rights sold:
Finland, Teos
Denmark, Turbine
Germany, Boje/Lübbe
English world (excl. US, CA, AU and NZ), Little Island
Lithuania, Nieko Rimto