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Three bronco busters--Slim, Jim, and Grimsley--are the biggest, baddest cowboys in the West, but they struggle to tame a wily and wild black pony that fights back with tricks of its own.
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By day, a trio of low-down bronco busters ("Slim was rough, Jim was tough, and Grimsley was bowlegged") try every dirty trick in the book to tame a wild pony, without success. By night, a small young cowboy creeps into the corral and takes a different tack, talking softly, gently caring for and feeding the small horseAand even playing the harmonica for him. In the end, the three tough cowpokes give up ("he's a real outlaw") and mosey off into the sunset in their souped-up monster truck (complete with horseshoe-studded tires), leaving behind the boy and the pony who, thanks to the child's light touch, is now tame as a kitten. Herzig's (Sam and the Moon Queen) tidily packaged tale is larded with humor and colorful descriptions ("spikey spurs as big as pinwheels"), and she deftly etches the contrast between the two bronco-busting styles in language that by turn swaggers across the pages and settles into more tranquil tones for the nighttime training sessions. Root's (Junk Pile!) drawings are equally adroit; snapshots of the bronco-busting business in a dusty Wild West palette fairly burst out of their oval frames, and her mean cowpokes, who look like they'd be equally at home on horses or Harley Davidsons, are hilarious. A rootin'-tootin' good ride from start to finish. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Kindergarten-Grade 4-A black pony defies the bronco-busting skills of three of the contemporary West's finest buckaroos and is ultimately tamed by a young cowboy with a gentle voice and a kind touch. Slim, Jim, and Grimsley employ the standard will-breaking techniques of spurring, team roping, hobbling, snubbing (tying a horse nose to post), and general whooping and hollering. Each man takes his turn with the recalcitrant horse on successive days and is duly humbled by being thrown sky high. Throughout this ordeal the boy, for the most part ignored by the haughty trio, sits on the corral railing, quietly watching. At night, he visits the pony, stroking its head, sharing his smells, and telling his equine friend wistful stories about the wilderness outside the corral. He slowly, but surely, befriends the pony, earning a trust his fellow horsemen will never understand. Root's pen-and-watercolor vignettes, bordered by jalape?os, cacti, and other desert flora, are, by turns, animated or subdued, caricatures or graceful portraits, with mood swings accented by desert-brown days or prairie-blue nights. A simple story with a lyrical ending that will touch the hearts of readers.
John Sigwald, Unger Memorial Library, Plainview, TX
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Putnam Juvenile, 1998. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110399229175
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