"Plenty of historians use the device of an exemplary narrator to make a historic account more personal and accessible. Usually, however, that narrator has a human voice. Barbara Cairns in her recent Florida history book CRACKER COW, takes a different approach to the narrator voice. With her look at the history of stock-keeping in Florida, she makes her narrator a modern-day cracker cow named Magnolia, Maggie for short... Cairns' tale of this portion of Florida's environmental and agricultural history is fascinating, and she provides plenty of resources for the interested person to learn more..."
Jenna McKenna, Editor of Cedar Key Beacon
" Thank you so much for the copy of your incredible book! A signed copy at that... I can tell you that it will be a treasured family piece... I know that you are not a true Floridian, but I would be the first to vote you in as an honorary one!" Angie R.
"Cracker Cow provides an interesting journey through Florida history, going back to the native Indians, then the Spanish, French, British, and the early American pioneers. It also traces the history of cattle and horses in Florida. Many people don't know that Florida was this country's first cattle state, and even today, the number one beef producing ranch in the nation is located in Florida.One unique aspect of Cracker Cow is the use of Magnolia, a cracker cow, to narrate parts of the book. She provides information about many things, including herself, and you become concerned about her fate. All she wants is to be set free in a place where she can eat sweet grass and drink clean water. You will learn what happens to her on the last page of the book. Barbara Cairns has packed a lot of information into just 83 pages."
Patrick D. Smith, Author of A Land Remembered
"In reading the book, Cracker Cow, I found it to be very well planned and informative about the history of the Florida cattle industry. It was well researched and humorous through the many comments by "Magnolia", the cracker cow. In general, it is a wonderful reference to the history of the cattle industry in Florida." Fred M.
"Barbara, I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know how much I enjoyed reading your book. I feel that I had a real history lesson on Florida and found it an excellent read, in fact I read it from cover to cover in one sitting a few Sundays ago.The amount of research you must have done is mind boggling but well worth it for the reader." Richard P.
"Cool website!" Richard F.
"Hi Barb...I just finished your book and am thoroughly impressed. What a lot of research you did! And you then spun the story out beautifully. There were so many parallels between the cattle industry of Florida and Wyoming where I grew up. Sally will read it too. She worked in the livestock auction yard in Live Oak many years ago. You wrote a fine book, Barb. Congratulations! ... " Lois S.
"The cover is priceless! The content is enjoyable reading. I'm learning new things about the history of Florida I never knew before. I never really knew about the Spanish... my history leaves a lot to be desired. CRACKER COW is like a history lesson, but periodically, Maggie injects a little humor into it, so it's not boring. It's really good. I found it extremely interesting..." Dot M.
"Dear Barbara... Meeting you at the park and buying your book, "Cracker Cow" was one of the highlights of my trip. I can't tell you how much we enjoyed reading of Magnolia and her adventures. Cracker Cow is a wonderful little book! I'm so glad I got it.... Thank you for being a special part of my much needed vacation... " Ruth M.
"I am greatly enjoying "The Cracker Cow" and am just blown away by the extent of the research you must have done to come up with such a fascinating narrative." John M.