When a little boy gets set to spend the day at Grandma's, he's really preparing to go on the cowboy ride of his dreams. With his imagination in tow, he and his pardner (brother) ride their horses (Mom and Dad) to meet their ranch hand (Grandma). After having a great day doing all the things that cowfolk do, this fantastic adventure ends in a wonderfully reassuring way as the cowboy and his "horse" are reunited, just in time to be tucked in bed. This is the quintessential cattle-rustling cowboy fantasy, ideal for all young tots with lots of wonder and imagination in their hearts. Dana Kessimakis Smith was born and raised in Utah. Currently she lives in California with her family, working as a full-time writer and mom. Laura Freeman studied art at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where she lives with her husband and two sons.
From School Library Journal:
PreSchool-Grade 1-"I am a boy, a wild cowboy/A real live buckaroo." These words of a small child evoke the idioms of the West and offer a joyful reminder of the power of imagination. The boy packs his "cowpoke stuff," mounts his horse (a piggyback ride with Mom), and blazes a trail out West to Grandma's house, where he and his "pardner" (younger brother) spend the day. Despite the urban setting, Grandma's house becomes the wild frontier as the children bring in the cattle (catch some puppies), set up camp (pitched before the fireplace), and eat their grub (popcorn). In the evening, the tired siblings' parents take them home. The story has a natural flow, like a child's stream of consciousness, and the rhyming text reads aloud smoothly. The vibrant artwork shows a loving, racially mixed family; the affection and warmth that surrounds the brothers is evoked through small details-bedtime caresses, smiles shared between adults and children, and the family portraits placed throughout the scenes. Freeman imbues her bright-eyed drovers with enthusiasm, drawing readers into this imaginary adventure.
Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX
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