The New York Times Book Review - Sarah Harrison Smith
Austin's exaggeratedly slim Clyde and highly animated animals should round up even reluctant readers.
From the Publisher
"A first purchase for most libraries."
—School Library Journal
"This is a story that begs to be read aloud with a twangy drawl, perhaps as part of a Western or farm-themed storytime. Plumb funny, fer sure."
—Kirkus, starred review
"[Mortensen] offers here another humorous, rhyming picture book, this one filled with clever language and anticipatory page turns that will delight young listeners."
Children's Literature - Elizabeth Fronk
Cowpoke Clyde has a clean house but he has overlooked "Dawg", his dog who is caked with mud. Clyde thinks bathing the dog is an easy task but the dog wakes up and realizes what Clyde has in mind. The dog takes Clyde on a merry chase and in the process stirs up some chickens, a fat hog, six cats and a mule. Clyde tries to bribe Dawg with a bone and a wagon ride but to no avail. Clyde ends up covered in feathers, fur and dirt so he decides to take a bath and forgets about "Dawg." As Clyde bathes, he sings; the song inspires Dawg to join Clyde in the bath. The acrylic and colored pencil illustrations give enough detail so readers have a first-hand experience as Clyde chases his dog and the other animals take part. It is not only the animals' or Clyde's details that make this an intriguing story; the varying perspectives throughout as creatures soar off a page add to the bright colors. They are somewhat reminiscent of Steven Kellogg's illustrations for his tall tales. Whether read aloud or to oneself, readers from preschool to early elementary can take a fun-filled ride with Cowpoke Clyde. Reviewer: Elizabeth Fronk
School Library Journal
K-Gr 1—At the end of a satisfying day, Cowpoke Clyde decides that the only thing he'd forgotten to clean was his "ol' Dawg, his faithful, snorin' friend,/all caked with mud from end to end." However, corralling Dawg is definitely not a snap, and Clyde's continued efforts result in a cumulative disaster of frantic chickens, flying feathers, spilled soup, biting fleas, a slippery hog, hissing cats, and a braying mule, all "gettin' soaked" instead of Dawg. Even the hog gets a wide-eyed close-up here. Finely crafted acrylic scenes contain a wide range of angled perspectives and shadows within Clyde's tiny shack and outside on the ranch. Cartoon figures cavort across the spreads and escape their frames. Rhyming couplets reveal a cowboy twang of missing final "g's." A first purchase for most libraries.—Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX
Gadzooks! Cowpoke Clyde has talents galore, but he just can't corral that big ol' dirty Dawg into the washin' tub, and all Clyde's efforts lead to some mighty hilarious mischief in this cumulative tale set in the old West. Pitch-perfect rhyming text bounces along with peppy phrases telling the tale of a cowboy who likes to keep things clean and tidy. Clyde tries tactic after tactic to catch his dog for a scrub down, each new method adding another layer of mayhem to the scene, with a lassoed hog, wet chickens and a kicking mule adding to the hilarious hijinks. Finally Clyde takes a bath in the moonlight by himself while singing a "cowpoke tune" beneath a full moon, and that is the winning lure that gets the dirty Dawg into the washtub. Illustrations in acrylics and colored pencils use deep, saturated colors and exaggerated proportions to dramatic effect, with uproarious scenes of screaming cats, a flailing mule and a hog ready to leap right off the page. The frenetic activity is offset by the moonlit scenes of Clyde and Dawg in the tub, with a satisfying conclusion in which all the characters join them for a bath. This is a story that begs to be read aloud with a twangy drawl, perhaps as part of a Western or farm-themed storytime. Plumb funny, fer sure. (Picture book. 3-8)