Gift Guide

Bill Pickett: Rodeo-Ridin' Cowboy


The true sweat-and dirt tale of the feisty cowboy-child who become the most famous black rodeo performer who ever lived.

Describes the life and accomplishments of the son of a former slave whose unusual bulldogging style made him a rodeo star.

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (28) from $1.99   
  • New (10) from $3.23   
  • Used (18) from $1.99   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...


The true sweat-and dirt tale of the feisty cowboy-child who become the most famous black rodeo performer who ever lived.

Describes the life and accomplishments of the son of a former slave whose unusual bulldogging style made him a rodeo star.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[A] rip-snorting picture-book biography.”—Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a starred review, PW called this biography of the first African-American inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame a "rip-roarin' salute to a legendary cowboy." Ages 4-8. (Nov.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Alexandria LaFaye
This historical biography provides a unique glimpse into the Old West. Beginning with a description of a wagon train heading to Texas from South Carolina, the book points out that some of the travelers were slaves. A descendant of those slaves was Bill Pickett. As a small child, he discovered he could wrestle a steer to the ground by biting it in the upper lip as trained bulldogs did. After inventing "bull dogging" human-style, Bill went on to bring his unique talent to the rodeo circuit to introduce a new event to the sport. Bill Pickett is one of many African-American cowboys who played major roles in the history of the Old West. The afterward and further reading list included in this book will help guide young readers to learn more about these unique cowboys. Andrea Pinkney's text chronicles Bill Pickett's life from his grandparents forced migration to his death in 1932. Highlighting his rodeo feats, she also discusses the importance of family and the pivotal role storytelling played in the homes of the Pickett clan. Brian Pinkney's trademark scratchboard illustrations give a startling and vibrant quality to the text. Using mostly browns, red, and blues, he sets a dusty, cowboy mood.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
The first black rodeo performer was Bill Pickett who first wrestled a steer to the ground by sinkin' his teeth into the animal's lip when he was about 10. Bulldoggin', the cowboys called it. Bill learned to lasso and ride like the cowboys he'd seen on the Chisholm Trail. Soon he became so well known that he starred in the 101 Ranch Wild West Show. Bill Pickett, son of a slave, became the first African American inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. A picture book biography that will send readers on the trail of more information about African American cowboys. Scratchboard illustrations, hand-colored with oil paint, project a dynamic energy that enriches this story.
Kirkus Reviews
From the creators of Dear Benjamin Banneker (1994), rip-snorting picture-book biography of the first African-American cowboy inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. Pickett, "quick as a jackrabbit, more wide-eyed than a hooty owl," left home at 15, having already invented his famous bulldogging technique—controlling balky cattle by gripping their lips with his teeth and twisting. As a "wild-riding South Texas brushpopper," he quickly earned a reputation working both ranches and the rodeo circuit, putting on shows from Mexico City to London, and making steer-wrestling the standard rodeo event it is today. Based on both published sources and interviews with one of Pickett's descendants (and with an afterword called "More About Black Cowboys"), this covers the essentials of his career while casting Pickett in the mold of a folk hero. Although readers may be disappointed to see only one scene of Pickett performing his spectacularly gross trick (sinking his teeth into the lips of a steer), the swirling lines and brushstrokes of the scratchboard illustrations ably second the text's energy and vivid imagery.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152021030
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 314,187
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD1000L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.05 (w) x 10.98 (h) x 0.14 (d)

Meet the Author

ANDREA DAVIS PINKNEY is the author of many award-winning picture books, including the critically acclaimed Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters, which won a Coretta Scott King Author Honor. She has also collaborated with her husband, illustrator Brian Pinkney, on several books, including

Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra and Sleeping Cutie. The Pinkneys live in Brooklyn, New York.

BRIAN PINKNEY is a celebrated picture-book illustrator who has won two Caldecott Honors. His many professional tributes also include the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award and three Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honors. He has collaborated with his wife, author Andrea Davis Pinkney, on several picture books including Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra and Sleeping Cutie . The Pinkneys live in Brooklyn, New York.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)