A Cowboy Christmas: The Miracle at Lone Pine Ridge

A Cowboy Christmas: The Miracle at Lone Pine Ridge

by Audrey Wood, Robert Florczak
     
 
Sometimes a miracle needs a helping hand.

Come let best-selling author Audrey Wood and acclaimed illustrator Robert Florczak transport you to the spectacular yet harsh landscape of the pioneer West, where a cowboy's shimmering act of generosity and a boy's tenacious faith make possible the miracle at Lone Pine Ridge.

Overview

Sometimes a miracle needs a helping hand.

Come let best-selling author Audrey Wood and acclaimed illustrator Robert Florczak transport you to the spectacular yet harsh landscape of the pioneer West, where a cowboy's shimmering act of generosity and a boy's tenacious faith make possible the miracle at Lone Pine Ridge.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When Evan, a fatherless boy, senses danger one Christmas Eve, his prayers help save his favorite cowboy, Cully, from a chilly death. They also set in motion a chain of happy events for Evan and his ma. The somewhat overwrought tale is nonetheless fluidly told, and Florczak's (previously teamed with Wood for The Rainbow Bridge) realistic oil paintings, aglow with light and shadow, make ample use of the Western setting. Scenes of cowboys camped around a fire inject a dose of humor, while stunning paintings of Cully's riderless horse on a snowy cliff and Evan's mother strolling with Cully under leafy birch trees convey the dramatic events. All ages. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Before Evan's pa died, he asked his best friend, Cully, to return during the winter months to help Evan and his ma with the ranch chores. True to his word, Cully would return each Christmas Eve. This year, however, Cully was sick. Although he tried to make it to the ranch, he was overcome with illness and fell off his horse at Lone Pine Ridge. When Evan sees a shooting star, he is certain it is a sign and he is determined to go out and search for Cully. Suspense builds as Evan and his ma find the gravely ill Cully and bring him back to the house, with slim hopes for his recovery. But this is Christmas Eve, and miracles do happen. Wood wrote this story as "a tribute to the courage and faith" of those who faced the hardships of frontier life. Here, the contrast between the ruggedness of life and the importance of friendship, family and hope is heightened. Florczak's oil paintings give us grand vistas of big sky country, reminiscent of the art of Frederic Remington. He effectively uses light and golden tones in the scenes inside the cabin to create a warm and cozy setting. Christmas themes and symbols abound in this story: special stars in the sky, the waiting and anticipation of special guests, and feelings of hope and renewal of life. 2001, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $19.95. Ages 5 to 10. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Reading like a script for a 1950s-era TV Western, this attractive book contains some unfortunate flaws. Every year since Evan's pa died, Cully, who was the man's best friend, has come to spend the winter helping the boy and his mother work their ranch. This year, stopping for Evan's Christmas present, a "burnished silver bridle," has made him late, and illness causes the cowboy to fall from his horse. Evan concludes that Cully is in danger, convinces his mother to ride out with him in the snowy night, and finds him on Lone Pine Ridge. After a long recuperation, Cully makes plans to go but Evan asks him to stay, marry his mother, and become his father. All ends happily with the new family celebrating a cowboy Christmas under the stars. Cully's trail tales and Florczak's evocative, romanticized oil paintings are the high points in this predictably plotted story. However, depicting a regular leather bridle instead of a "burnished silver" one and several clich d statements like, "He may not make it, son," are disappointing.-L. F. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This longer Christmas story is set in the old West on the small ranch of a widow named Della and her son, Evan. On Christmas Eve, they are waiting for the annual arrival of their storytelling cowboy friend, Cully, who collapses from illness and falls from his horse into the snow on a ridge overlooking the ranch. A bright shooting star leads Evan and his mother to Cully, who is successfully rescued and nursed back to health. Walking with Evan's ma and some quality time with the family make it clear that the cowboy has changed and sure enough, he decides to quit the trail. It's Evan who talks him out of moving to Mexico and points the way to marrying his ma and staying right there. While the plot is melodramatic and somewhat predictable, Woods tells the tale with a sure hand, just as Cully recounts his cowboy adventures to Della and Evan in front of the fireplace. Florczak's (The Magic Fishbone, not reviewed, etc.) sumptuous full-page paintings add greatly to the overall effect, with varying perspectives and clever use of shadows. (One memorable illustration shows three shocked cowboys interrupted at their dinner of beans and coffee with the looming shadow of a bear falling across the page.) This super-sized volume has a thoughtful design with the text printed on ivory paper with a narrow rust border, adding an old-fashioned touch to a story that will be popular wherever young cowboys hang their hats. (Picture book. 5-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689874086
Publisher:
Aladdin
Publication date:
10/01/2004
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
10.48(w) x 11.86(h) x 0.24(d)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

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