“Way out west, the warm winds blow.”
A snub-nosed, tousle-haired little white girl narrates life as a cowgirl in poetic, measured rhyme, while appealing paintings rendered in watercolor, gouache, colored pencil, and Photoshop show a day of imaginative play. Simple, catchy text with a repeating line combines with a bright palette full of shiny red to follow the active, enthusiastic youngster and her trusty pup and kitten as she sets out with cowboy boots (rain boots), lasso (jump rope), and horse (hobby horse). Her day includes a visit to the chicken coop (doghouse), chores such as milking the cow (hanging the laundry) and shearing the sheep (brushing the dog), a swim in the creek (inflatable pool), some grub (sandwiches), and sleeping under the stars (they are printed on her blanket). “Home on the range, I’ll close my eyes. / I’ll snuggle up until sunrise. / I’ll sleep beneath the starry skies. / And dream… // that I’m a cowgirl!” While it’s not a novel concept—tomboys, especially white ones, are represented in children’s books aplenty—the charming and energetic story is easy to follow, and the give-and-take between imagination and real life is well-executed.
This well may lead young readers to some pretending of their own. (Picture book. 2-5)