A COWBOY NAMED ERNESTINE by Nicole  Rubel

A COWBOY NAMED ERNESTINE

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Rubel (Wedding Bells for Rotten Ralph, 1999, etc.) takes a piece of Americana and extrapolates a spry tale of a spirited Irish lady in frontier Texas. Ernestine is a mail-order bride beckoned from Ireland to marry Virgil Beetle. Her spirits sink when Virgil turns out to be a filthy rapscallion who lives on a ranch—a stinky, ramshackle place—with his three brothers and sister-in-law Prunella. With the preacher out of town, the wedding is stalled for a week. Meanwhile, nasty Prunella treats Ernestine as the housemaid and makes her sleep in the barn. Ernestine thinks, “I’ve seen neater pigs and more courteous donkeys than this family.” Dressed as a man, Ernestine escapes out the back to wander the prairies. There she is discovered by Texas Teeth, a jovial cowboy with pearly whites. Believing she’s a man named Ernest T., Texas Teeth and his gang teach Ernestine to herd and rope. When her wages aren’t enough to get her back to Ireland, Ernestine signs up for a calf-roping contest to earn the rest, but a nasty trick is played, and she finds herself bull-riding instead. This dastardly deed serves to reveal Ernestine’s mane of red hair and her real gender. Not such a bad thing, it turns out, for the story ends with Ernestine in a wedding dress after all. Rubel’s illustrations tell half the story with a brightly colored palate, rosy-cheeked characters, and intricately detailed surroundings. In fact, sharp-eyed readers will enjoy finding little animals in the scenery and an armadillo on every page. This tale is a treat all the way around. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8037-2152-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2000




MORE BY NICOLE RUBEL

ChildrenANNY AND ALLIE by Nicole  Rubel
by Nicole Rubel
ChildrenROTTEN RALPH'S ROTTEN FAMILY by Jack Gantos
by Jack Gantos
ChildrenTHREE STRIKES FOR ROTTEN RALPH by Jack Gantos
by Jack Gantos