THE ZEBRA-RIDING COWBOY: A Folk Song from the Old West by Angela Shelf--Ed. Medearis

THE ZEBRA-RIDING COWBOY: A Folk Song from the Old West

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A rollicking cowboy ballad tells the story of a stranger who the other cowboys suppose is a greenhorn: ""Such an educated fellow, his thoughts just came in herds;/ He astonished all the cowboys with jaw-breaking words."" Thinking to show him up, they put him on the ""Zebra Dun,"" an unridable outlaw, but though ""We could see the tops of mountains under Dunny's every jump,/...the stranger seemed to grow there, just like a camel's hump."" The lively watercolor illustrations depict an assortment of cowboys--African-American (notably, the stranger, whose striped trousers slyly suggest a reason for the manner of his hazing), Latino (including the boss), and white (the cook and a guitarist). An excellent note points out how common such mixes actually were, despite all-white media stereotypes. In an engaging final touch, the whole crew is seen happily reading the stranger's books. A nifty song, given a valid and intriguing new spin. Music included.

Pub Date: March 31st, 1992
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Henry Holt