A spin on “The Cat Came Back,” with a Southwestern accent.
The book is illustrated David Catrow–style, with chaotic, loosely brushed scenes featuring popeyed livestock (mostly chickens) and exuberantly posed rural folk with flyaway hair. The rhyme itself follows the original’s cadences in tracking one tumbleweed that, disposed of, returns with more and more. Looking like hairy bowling balls in the pictures, the tumbleweeds flourish despite being dumped into the Rio Grande, tied to balloons, crammed into a train, even deported to the future in a time machine: “Even more came back! / They just wouldn’t stay away.” Blasting them into outer space brings peace at last—until, that is, the sun goes down and they plummet back to Earth, along with a few stray chickens that had accidentally gone along for the ride. Though the scansion is a bit forced at times, the mood is upbeat; a victorious conga line of humans and farm animals is a particularly chuckle-inducing treat.
Equally suited to being sung or recited, a down-home alternative to a favorite ditty. (Picture book. 5-8)