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COWPOKE CLYDE AND DIRTY DAWG by Lori Mortensen Kirkus Star


by Lori Mortensen ; illustrated by Michael Allen Austin

Age Range: 3 - 8

Pub Date: May 14th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-547-23993-4
Publisher: Clarion

Gadzooks! Cowpoke Clyde has talents galore, but he just can’t corral that big ol’ dirty Dawg into the washin’ tub, and all Clyde’s efforts lead to some mighty hilarious mischief in this cumulative tale set in the old West.

Pitch-perfect rhyming text bounces along with peppy phrases telling the tale of a cowboy who likes to keep things clean and tidy. Clyde tries tactic after tactic to catch his dog for a scrub down, each new method adding another layer of mayhem to the scene, with a lassoed hog, wet chickens and a kicking mule adding to the hilarious hijinks. Finally Clyde takes a bath in the moonlight by himself while singing a “cowpoke tune” beneath a full moon, and that is the winning lure that gets the dirty Dawg into the washtub. Illustrations in acrylics and colored pencils use deep, saturated colors and exaggerated proportions to dramatic effect, with uproarious scenes of screaming cats, a flailing mule and a hog ready to leap right off the page. The frenetic activity is offset by the moonlit scenes of Clyde and Dawg in the tub, with a satisfying conclusion in which all the characters join them for a bath. This is a story that begs to be read aloud with a twangy drawl, perhaps as part of a Western or farm-themed storytime.

Plumb funny, fer sure. (Picture book. 3-8)