Cowboy Dreams

Cowboy Dreams

by Khalsa
     
 

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All little May ever wanted to be was a cowboy, for as long as she can remember. At the movies each Saturday, she studies how to be a cowboy, how to push her hat back and squint in the sun, or ambush something on her bike. All she needs is a horse, but her parents won’t even let her have a dog. So May builds her own horse from a blanket and a piece of clothesline…  See more details below

Overview

All little May ever wanted to be was a cowboy, for as long as she can remember. At the movies each Saturday, she studies how to be a cowboy, how to push her hat back and squint in the sun, or ambush something on her bike. All she needs is a horse, but her parents won’t even let her have a dog. So May builds her own horse from a blanket and a piece of clothesline on the basement banister. On her banister horse, she dreams of the world of cowboys, the open trail, and her favorite cowboy songs.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Cowboy Dreams shows Khalsa’s special gift for discerning what is important and communicating it to children.”
The Horn Book
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a diverting tale guaranteed to fulfill any child's fantasies about life in the Old West, a city girl who longs to become a cowboy serves as heroine and narrator. She listens to Lone Ranger radio broadcasts (`` `Hi Ho, Silver! Away!' were practically the first words I ever said.''), studies equine paintings and Saturday movie matinees to learn about horses, and buys a raffle ticket to win a trusty steed. ``Dreaming of life in the Wild West,'' she rides a local merchant's mechanical horse; she even makes her own mount on the basement banister. As she sings her beloved cowboy songs, this would-be Dale Evans envisions herself (astride a model horse) in the midst of the lyrics. The late Khalsa's whimsically perceptive cityscapes--a lyrical F.A.O. Schwartz interior, a quintessential suburban backyard that features a palomino in the garage--are surpassed only by her mesmerizing desert panoramas, with their imaginative perspectives. Inviting mesas and canyons seem to stretch into infinity, while lucky indeed are the deer and antelope who can play in these lush valleys. Ages 6-8. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Horse images were always a part of this city child's life, from a painting on her crib to a rocking horse to playing ``horsie'' on her father's back. As the unnamed heroine grows older, she rides a carousel horse, looks at paintings of horses in the museum, goes to cowboy movies, rides a mechanical horse in front of the variety store, and even gets to ride the real thing when the Pony Man comes to her block. All of this is a realistic portrayal of a child's imaginative play; but when her grandmother takes her to a fancy toy store, a life-sized horse on wheels spurs the imagination to take her into the West of her dreams. Immediately following, on the first double-page spread, there is a gradual fade from reality to fantasy. It's the cowboy songs she sings that carry her into the imaginary world, and from this point, the song lyrics are the only text. This works better visually than verbally. The book jacket confirms immediately that this is indeed the stuff of dreams. It is not, however, a child's dreams, but an adult's reminiscence. This nostalgic view of childhood unfortunately creates a static image, more retrospective than real story, which may limit its child appeal. The bold, flat colors and childlike names are charming and will have adult viewers attempting to date such items as the car, the washing machine, and the black-and-white motion picture. --Kay E. Vandergrift, School of Communication, Information and Library Studies, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780887763779
Publisher:
McClelland & Stewart Ltd.
Publication date:
07/01/1999
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.25(w) x 8.27(h) x 0.15(d)
Age Range:
6 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Dayal Kaur Khalsa both wrote and illustrated picture books that celebrate the joys in life: the love between grandparents and grandchildren, the togetherness of a family holiday, the ingenuity of a girl who wants a dog, the thrill of discovering a new and delicious food. Her books have won numerous awards, including being chosen twice for the New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year and twice as a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Dayal Kaur Khalsa died in 1989.

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