Three lonesome cowboys stuck out on the range face a “low-down and miserable” Christmas without the usual treats and trimmings until a surprise visit from “Santy Claus” brightens their holiday.
Dwight, Darryl and Dub are the three cowpunchers, working the range with their faithful father figure and grub wrestler, Cookie. The cowboys try to make do with their Christmas preparations, making bean-sprinkled cookies, decorating a cactus and fashioning reindeer costumes for their heifers. Cookie takes Christmas day off, but the cowboys return after a hard day on the range to find Santa in camp with a full dinner, decorated tree and wrapped presents for all. Sharp-eyed, older readers will note the Santa hat tucked in Cookie’s back pocket when he returns to camp as well as the identical boots worn by Cookie and Santa, but younger children will believe that Santa delivers to cowpokes out on the range as well as to little girls and boys. Cartoon-style art, lots of cowboy lingo and the funny attempts at holiday decoration and baking add humor to the overall effort.
Young buckeroos who like their Christmas stories punchy rather than sweet might just take a likin’ to ol’ Dwight, Darryl and Dub. (Picture book. 4-7)