Another doggone funny cowboy caper chock full o’ chuckles.

COWPOKE CLYDE RIDES THE RANGE

That ol’ rascal Cowpoke Clyde is back in the saddle again for another rollicking ride on the range (Cowpoke Clyde and Dirty Dawg, 2013), this time on one of them newfangled machines called a bicycle.

The lanky, white cowboy decides to trade in his horse, ordering up a shiny, red bicycle from a mail-order catalog, or “cat-y-log” in Clyde’s colloquial manner of speaking. The pitch-perfect rhyming text is filled with amusing, old-fashioned expressions in Clyde’s strong cowboy voice, just begging to be read aloud with a believable twang. When Clyde takes off on his first ride, he’s followed by his trusty, dusty Dawg, a faithful Old English sheepdog in a red bandanna. In subsequent action-filled scenes, they meet a “horny toad,” a hare, a porcupine, and some bighorn sheep, which the devoted Dawg chases out of his path just in time. Thoughtful art direction sets up each new critter encounter with dramatic pacing and a page turn to reveal the next animal obstacle, with the new creature’s name set in huge display type. Vibrant digitally produced illustrations give Clyde a distinct personality and meet the challenge of capturing a cowboy in motion on a bicycle, and close-up views of the prickly porcupine and bug-eyed bighorn sheep effectively animate the critters so they seem ready to jump right off the page.

Another doggone funny cowboy caper chock full o’ chuckles. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-37030-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions.

HOME

Ellis, known for her illustrations for Colin Meloy’s Wildwood series, here riffs on the concept of “home.”

Shifting among homes mundane and speculative, contemporary and not, Ellis begins and ends with views of her own home and a peek into her studio. She highlights palaces and mansions, but she also takes readers to animal homes and a certain famously folkloric shoe (whose iconic Old Woman manages a passel of multiethnic kids absorbed in daring games). One spread showcases “some folks” who “live on the road”; a band unloads its tour bus in front of a theater marquee. Ellis’ compelling ink and gouache paintings, in a palette of blue-grays, sepia and brick red, depict scenes ranging from mythical, underwater Atlantis to a distant moonscape. Another spread, depicting a garden and large building under connected, transparent domes, invites readers to wonder: “Who in the world lives here? / And why?” (Earth is seen as a distant blue marble.) Some of Ellis’ chosen depictions, oddly juxtaposed and stripped of any historical or cultural context due to the stylized design and spare text, become stereotypical. “Some homes are boats. / Some homes are wigwams.” A sailing ship’s crew seems poised to land near a trio of men clad in breechcloths—otherwise unidentified and unremarked upon.

Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6529-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more