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Reading My Library

Monday, January 10, 2011

Western Themed Children's Books, Part I

One of the things that is driving me to the library these days is our decision to start in on some pre-school studies through the use of a thematic unit. On our latest forage to the library, I was specifically hunting for some western/prairie/cowboy themed books. Here are a few that we found:

Yippee-Yay!: A Book About Cowboys and Cowgirls was a recommended resource that was listed in our thematic unit book. Written and illustrated by Gail Gibbons, we found this in the non-fiction section and it really does a marvelous job at explaining what life was like in the Old West, why cowboys wear the clothes that they do, the tools of the cowboy trade and shows maps of cattle trails. (It tells you about a whole lot more than that, but there's your basic overview!)

Although this one is filled with information, it reads well to pre-schoolers because the entire book is illustrated. It comes off looking like your regular picture book which I think is fantastic!

Cowboy Camp, by Tammi Sauer is one that we had read before but I knew we would want to read again for our studies. This one is a picture book and tells the story a young boy named Avery who doesn't exactly fit in very well at Cowboy Camp. "Whoever heard of a cowboy named Avery?" He doesn't even like beans!

However, when the villainous Black Bart comes to put a stop to Cowboy Camp, it's Avery who saves the day. He is able to successfully convince Black Bart that they were not at Cowboy Camp. Being that Avery has kinda failed at being a cowboy and therefore fails every test Black Bart puts to him, the villain leaves and the camp is saved!

Very cute story in my opinion!

Texas Rangers: Legendary Lawmen, by Michael P. Spradlin I picked up as a nod to my Texas-based sister-in-law. (Are you proud of me, or what, J?!)

Illustrated by Roxie Munro, this one may be a bit over our heads at the moment, but I still think it's worth a read and we'll get what we can out of it. It helps that it is presented in picture book form.

This book takes you through "The Beginning" explaining the origins of the Texas Ranger and concludes by telling you where they are today. (No, no, . . . no Chuck Norris here!) You can learn about the first Texas Ranger, John Coffee Hays as well as some of the bad guys that the Rangers have taken to task.

Lastly, I can't say I'm overly fond of this next one but I'll toss it out here for you anyway. Bronco Busters tells the story of three tough and rough cowboys who think that they are the meanest baddest bronco busters around. A small little cowboy sits watching them on three consecutive days, as the three Bronco Busters see who can tame a wild bronco.

As you might guess, not a single of the three men can bust this particular horse but after they leave the small cowboy comes out and with a soft voice and some apples and sugar lumps, he manages to enjoy a ride out on the prairie.

This book probably rubs me the wrong way a bit because of the arrogance and pride of the Bronco Busting Trio. I dislike that the adults in the story were so despicable but the child was the perfect angel. I don't know. Again, it's not bad but it just wasn't my favorite from the finds.

Have any of you read this one? Love to hear your thoughts on it if you have!

Stay tuned tomorrow for some additional reads that we picked up on the same western-theme!


  1. What fun! These remind me of a great Cowboy/western themed series "Cowboy Sam". My siblings and I grew up learning to read with the Cowboy Sam books. It's a shame they are out of print. And I'd be thrilled to pieces if I ever got my hands on them. So keep your eyes open. :)

  2. this is perfect timing! my youngest (6) and I are just starting a little study on horses! I am going to see about that Gail Gibbons book at our library. Thanks ;)

  3. Yeehaw!
    You know how I feel about Westerns! My boys love to read about cowboys and buckaroos and all that gritty western stuff. And we love Roy Rogers and John Wayne!
    "Cowboys" by Douglas Gorsline is our favorite young childrens book! It's a Pictureback book by Random House. They also have one on North American Indians and The Pioneers.

    Also, Glenn Balch is an awesome writer who was born in Texas and ended up in Idaho, his books are great for older kids or read-alouds.
    I'll get off my horse now...

  4. Cowboys! How fun! Here's a couple of cowboy posts I wrote a while back.



  5. I’ve been searching for some decent stuff on the subject and haven't had any luck up until this point, You just got a new biggest fan!.. infant development stages