The Dirty Cowboy

( 3 )

Overview

This ol? boy needs a bath!

After he finds a tumbleweed in his chaps and the numerous bugs buzzing around him affect his hearing, the cowboy decides it?s time to head to the river. Once there, he peels off all his clothes and tells his trusty old dog to guard them against strangers. He takes a refreshing bath and emerges clean as corn ? but so fresh-smelling that his dog doesn?t recognize him! Negotiations over the return of the clothes prove fruitless. A wrestling match ensues ...

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Overview

This ol’ boy needs a bath!

After he finds a tumbleweed in his chaps and the numerous bugs buzzing around him affect his hearing, the cowboy decides it’s time to head to the river. Once there, he peels off all his clothes and tells his trusty old dog to guard them against strangers. He takes a refreshing bath and emerges clean as corn – but so fresh-smelling that his dog doesn’t recognize him! Negotiations over the return of the clothes prove fruitless. A wrestling match ensues in a tale that grows taller by the sentence, climaxing in a fabric-speckled dust devil.

Amy Timberlake has inserted a Western twang into this tale of filth and friendship, and Adam Rex has found many creative means of bodily concealment in his expressive, comical paintings.

Telling his faithful dog to make sure nobody touches his clothes but him, a cowboy jumps into a New Mexico river for a bath, not realizing just how much the scrubbing will change his scent.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Timberlake's keen comic timing and abundant western witticisms fit hand in glove with Rex's farcical golden-and copper-toned illustrations, which call to mind the tall-tale humor of Adam Glass...Transcending the cowboy-tale genre, this raucous romp should tickle bath-averse children everywhere." —Starred, Publishers Weekly

"[A] side-splitting double debut...Inspired by an anecdote passed down in the author's family, this cautionary tale should please all young readers with an aversion to soap and water."

—Starred, Kirkus Reviews

"Readers will revel in the tall-taling, sagebrush-flavored style, the malodorous situation and the slapstick...Rex's slickly highlighted figures have the gleeful grostesquerie of Mad magazine art...The compositions are creative and the scenes are rife with additional details...a rootin' tootin' good read." —Starred, Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Told in descriptive language that rolls off the tongue, this story makes the most of a humorous situation. Filled with dusty reds and sundown bronzes of the New Mexico setting, the paintings have a gritty, sinewy look that matches the earthy tone of the tale...a fun look at life on the range." —School Library Journal

"Rex's rich paintings add sparkle to the story's dramatic telling with the attention to detail and humor that may remind some grownups of Norman Rockwell's early work. A simple, slapstick tale that is sure to elicit some giggles." —Booklist

Publishers Weekly
Maybe it was the 32 fleas in his hair or the tumbleweed in his chaps, "but whatever his reason, on that fateful day, the cowboy picked a doodlebug out of his right eyebrow and said, `This ol' boy needs a bath.' " His decision leads to hilarious trials and tribulations in this outstanding debut for both author and illustrator. Timberlake's keen comic timing and abundant western witticisms fit hand in glove with Rex's farcical golden- and copper-toned illustrations, which call to mind the tall-tale humor of Andrew Glass. The energetic compositions vary from spread to spread, including time-lapse cartoon-like panels, such inventive touches as close-up shots of individually numbered fleas, and borders that simulate rope or rustic wood, displaying native flora and fauna. The cowboy bears the goofy countenance of a befuddled Alfred E. Neuman. Best of all is the absurdly fortuitous camouflage of private parts: birds fly by, a rabbit stirs up a dust cloud at just the right moment and so on. After a good scrub in a New Mexico river, the cowboy finds his faithful dog (told to guard his clothes) growling at this clean-smelling stranger ("Where was that sweaty, wild boar-like smell that clung to the cowboy like a second pair of clothes?"). Only after the cowboy is sufficiently soiled by the ensuing tussle does the dog recognize him and release what remains of the duds. Transcending the cowboy-tale genre, this raucous romp should tickle bath-averse children everywhere. Ages 4-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
One day a cowboy decides that he really needs a bath. Accompanied by his faithful dog, he rides to the river with the necessary equipment. Leaving the dog to guard his clothes, he scrubs himself clean. But then, he doesn't smell like himself any more, so the dog won't let him put on his clothes no matter how hard he tries. Finally there is a knock-down drag-out fight, destroying most of his clothes, but with exertion bringing some of the familiar smell back to the cowboy. Clad only in his hat and boots, he can finally lead horse and dog home, hoping for better luck next year. The legend-like, tongue-in-cheek tale is told in a humorous drawl. The textured, naturalistic paintings create a scrawny young cowboy, a properly desolate landscape, and best of all a dog with an unforgettable personality. Because the cowboy is naked for a good part of the story and very active in large and small scenes and sequences, it is a real accomplishment to picture all the events without offending even the most modest sensibilities. Just lots of fun throughout. 2003, Farrar Straus Giroux, Ages 4 to 8.
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-After finding 32 fleas in his hair and tumbleweeds in his chaps, a freckle-faced cowboy decides that it's time for his annual bath. He mounts his horse, calls for his old dog, and heads for El Rio. There he disrobes and commands his companion to guard his duds. After frolicking merrily with a bar of soap (the amusing illustrations show many views of the naked cowboy bathing, while still keeping a G rating), he emerges thoroughly scrubbed and puckered "like a prickly pear." The dog does not detect his owner's familiar "wild boar-like smell" and stubbornly refuses to relinquish the garments. A dust-stirring brawl ensues that leaves the man as dirty as when he started, ultimately restoring his usual aroma. Unfortunately, the togs do not survive the tussle, and the cowboy heads for home, "bare as a shorn sheep." Told in descriptive language that rolls off the tongue, this story makes the most of a humorous situation. Filled with the dusty reds and sundown bronzes of the New Mexico setting, the paintings have a gritty, sinewy look that matches the earthy tone of the tale. Clever touches abound, as the artwork offers framed close-ups of the cowboy's uninvited vermin, a map of his route to the river, and whirling views of the wrestling match. The hangdog expression on the pooch's face when he realizes his mistake is priceless. A fun look at life on the range.-Joy Fleishhacker, formerly at School Library Journal Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Deciding, for obscure reasons, that it's time for a bath, a solitary cowboy discovers that being clean can have unexpected complications in this side-splitting double debut. Ordering his dog to guard his clothes, the cowboy bounds into a river with a nearly new bar of lye soap to wash off the reek of black pepper and mesa mud, of wild boar and cow. But the dog doesn't recognize this fresh-smelling stranger, and defends the duds until a knockdown, drag-out brawl leaves the cowboy covered in mud. Unfortunately, this leaves those clothes, except for hat and boots, in shreds. Realistically modeling setting and figures, but keeping the Legion of Decency off his case in numerous artful ways, Rex puts his cowhand, "naked as a nickel," up against a decidedly coyote-ish canine, then sends the two plodding back to their shack beneath an ineffectual rain shower. Inspired by an anecdote passed down in the author's family, this cautionary tale should please all young readers with an aversion to soap and water. (Picture book. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374317911
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 8/8/2003
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 488,452
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.99 (w) x 11.17 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Amy Timberlake lives in Dekalb, Illinois, and Adam Rex lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This is the first book for both of them.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2006

    Love this book

    I read this book when my friend gave it to me and said it helped her to get her son to take a bath. The story is great. The cowboy in the story relaizes that he might be a little to dirty so he takes a bath in the river only to come out clean and have his dog not recognize him beacuse of his new clean sent. The illustrations in this book are wonderful and very creative. They really help engage the reader in the story. I loved this book it was hilarious and I am sure you will love it too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2003

    A REAL HOOT OF A READ!

    I picked up this book after reading a review in the Capital Times of Madison. Here is a exerpt: 'See, the thing is , this book is not only cleverly illustrated - always important in a picture book - but first -time author Amy Timberlake's story is darn funny. As in, laugh-out-loud, giggle-snort funny. And it's the kind of humor that appeal to kids on one level and adults on an entirely differnt level.' The reviewer is right when she said: 'But for the adult consigned to the hell of reading and rereading the book.... adults will still find something to snicker about on read no 452. GREAT KIDS BOOK and Grampa likes it too!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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