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A WILD COWBOY by Dana Kessimakis Smith


by Dana Kessimakis Smith & illustrated by Laura Freeman

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: April 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-7868-1931-6
Publisher: Hyperion

The pictures tell one story while the text reveals the youngster’s inner fancies in this ode to cowboy enthusiasts. Readers see that this “real live buckaroo,” as he calls himself, lives in the city with his little brother, Asian mother, and African-American father. As they prepare for an outing, our hero dons his range hat with his “pardner” (little brother) by his side. “Out West” is Grandma’s apartment, where rounding up the cattle involves catching several escaping puppies. Cowboy vittles are hotdogs and popcorn devoured in Grandma’s living room. When he’s tucked in and asleep, readers glimpse the boy’s dream of life on the range. A cheerful foray into a youngster’s powerful imagination, this story does justice to a child’s ability to use what’s at hand to feed inventiveness. This device, however, may be lost on the youngest readers. The rhyming verse rings with the little boy’s buoyant voice. Freeman’s chalk-like computer graphics, drawn with charm in bright, tangy colors match the fantasy well. (Picture book. 3-6)