Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Brett (The Wild Christmas Reindeer; Trouble with Trolls) here gives her trademark, exquisitely detailed art a Western flair as she sets this endearing tale "deep in the heart of Texas hill country." "Don't go gettin' distracted on me," a mother armadillo cautions Bo, one of her four young 'uns. Undeterred, the ever-curious Bo follows a lizard down to the creek just as young Harmony Jean slides down the bank, trying to scuff up her brand-new "pointy-toed, high-heeled, hand-tooled chili-pepper red boots with fancy cutwork, tall tops, and a Curly H brand." Bo (who, like all armadillos, can't see very well) mistakes the boots for a shiny red armadillo, whom he greets with a friendly "Howdy." Impeccably reproducing the design, stitching and trims of Western clothing, border panels follow Bo's brothers and Ma as they search for their weak-eyed wanderer. He, meanwhile, is having the time of his life at the Curly H rodeo, where he rides on the back of Harmony Jean's horse, munches on a jalapeo pepper under a table and kicks up his heels at a barn dance-all in the company of his new "friend." The high-spirited hero and action-filled art will please the author/artist's many fans. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
Two of my favorite things are armadillos and shoes, so I was all set to love this Texas tale of a nearsighted armadillo named Bo who hankers after friendship with Harmony Jean's brand-new, chili pepper red cowboy boots. While Bo follows his newfound friend through the rodeo at the Curly H, Harmony Jean remains unaware of the attention her boots have attracted. As usual, Brett's illustrations are full of detail, and the armadillos (Bo, his three brothers and his long-suffering mom) are realistic yet seem to have distinctive personalities. The plot, however, is very thin and the book is reduced to a tour of Texas life.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Mother Armadillo leads her children with a repeated refrain, "Armadillos, one, two, three- Bo! Let's go." Bo, her easily distracted son, waddles to his own drummer. When he catches sight of the "pointy-toed, high heeled, hand-tooled, chili-pepper red boots with fancy cutwork" worn by the young cowgirl Harmony Jean, he imagines the boots are a "rip-roarin', rootin'-tootin' shiny red armadillo". Bo gives chase across bluebonnet meadows and dry cactus gullies, onto the back of a bucking horse and into the Bar-B-Q tent where he tastes a jalapeno pepper. His day of adventure ends knowing "his ma will always be there to bring him home." The illustrative details add texture, realism, and a place for children to interact. Side stories meander through the borders, as do the animals and vegetation of the Texan countryside. This is a double story of armadillo and cowgirl, with dialogue that will make drama-loving readers cry "Wahoo!"
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Every icon associated with Texas mythos is incorporated into Brett's latest picture book: boots and spurs, cactus and bluebonnets, barrel racing and bull riding, Bar-B-Q and hot peppers, and...armadillos! Weak-sighted Bo, a baby `dillo, mistakes one of Harmony Jean's new red boots as a potential friend and follows it throughout a busy day, while his ma and brothers search for him in all the wrong places. By day's end, Bo has ridden horseback, sampled the jalapeos, two-stepped at the barn dance, and been rescued by his mother. Brett's distinctive style shines in these joyous pictures filled with the excitement and fun of a day at the rodeo. Each double-page spread is framed by a lariat and decorated with side vignettes of tooled leather depicting offstage events. A delightful addition to the artist's canon.-Ruth Semrau, formerly at Lovejoy School, Allen, TX
Brett's familiar style takes on a southwestern flavor in this tale of an adventuresome armadillo. Bo is looking for excitement, but like all armadillos, he's nearsighted. When Harmony Jean walks by on her way to the rodeo, he mistakes her red cowboy boots for a rootin', tootin' red armadillo. Bo follows his new friend into the Curly H Ranch and has a thrilling time among the bucking horses, charging bulls, and dancing feet, until his mother comes to take him home. The double-page illustrations display Brett's characteristic polish, intricacy, and bright colors. In keeping with the rodeo theme, the pictures are painted as if on buckskin, with lariat borders. Although the story is a bit weak, Brett's zesty illustrations will keep her fans happy.