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Reading My Library

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Western Themed Childrens Books, Part III

If you missed it earlier, you can view our list of Western Themed Picture Books that we have been pulling forth from the library book shelves. I've been pulling the best from our stacks and highlighting them here for anyone else who is looking for fun cowboy/cowgirl reads! You can check out Part I or Part II by following the links.

It should be noted that I am not including this titles in my reading count towards the Reading My Library Challenge. This is a side project that we're working on.

This week we'll add some books to our list that talk about two important animals on the western frontier. Can you guess what they are?

Why, cows and horses, of course!

Now, this first title, admittedly, does not really go along with our "wild west" theme but I HAD to pick it up and read it because it talks about the ponies on Assateague Island (East Coast horses!)

Having just recently read Misty of Chicoteague, by Marguerite Henry (linked to my review over at Reading to Know) I was curious to see what this picture book was about. Add to the fact that Jim Arnosky is both the author and illustrator, I figured it would be hard to go wrong with this title.

As the title suggests, the ponies in this book are wild and free and so we see them running in the water, eating grass under the shade of trees and lying on the sand. It's a beautiful book and certainly one to pick up in conjunction with Misty if you take the time to read that one.

Traveling back out west, we picked up a copy of From Foal to Horse, by Robin Nelson, which is a "Start to Finish" book.

Simple text with simple terms makes this book a great introduction to the world of horses for toddlers especially. We learn basic things about how a horse grows and what it is called in various stages of life. You learn things such as when the horse starts to try standing up, how it drinks its mother's milk, and then gradually begins to eat grass. As I said - very simple and very basic. Perfect for where we are at.

As far as an informational book about horses, this is the best we found in our (admittedly rather hurried) search on our last visit.

With cows we were a bit more successful, finding three titles that we really enjoyed.

In the Cattle Yard, by Patricia M. Stockland is rather the cousin to From Foal to Horse. The difference is that In the Cattle Yard is illustrated by Todd Ouren making it feel more like a picture book story. This worked well in our favor. You get the same basic information about calves and cows in this book which was great for us.

Next up we read Cows, by Rachael Bell which is part of a series of books on farm animals. This book has more information in it about cows, and talks about the different types of cows you might see, a little about Longhorn cattle, cattle farms and how cows are transported around. There is an average of 5 sentences per page spread and full-color photographs.

Highly recommended if you are looking for a good way to teach a toddler about cows.

Sixteen Cows, by Lisa Wheeler was one we picked up for the fun of it - and I am so glad we did! This is a picture book with rhyming text. It tells the story of Cowboy Gene "who was long and lean" and Cowgirl Sue who "was smart and true." Each of these individuals own 8 cows which are located on ranches right next to each other. Separated by a fence, Cowboy Gene and Cowgirl Sue maintain their own heads of cattle.

One day a tornado rips through the area removing the fence that separates their two ranches and suddenly the cows co-mingling. Cowboy Gene and Cowboy Sue are having a terrible time managing their cattle but this ends up working in their favor. They realize that cooperation will be essential if they are to herd these animals around.

Come that fall, those two cowpokes exchanged their wedding vows.
Who served as honored bridesmaids? No less than sixteen cows!

Super duper cute. Highly recommended!

Are there any books on cows and horses that you would recommend? (Particularly horses?) Please let me know and we'll check them out!


  1. My favorite Maguerite Henry book was always Brighty of Grand Canyon, although I haven't read it for 25 years or so! And its about a Burro not a horse.

  2. my girls love these books we haven't read the last one you listed but all the others are great! we check our library for that last one it looks cute.