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Children's LiteratureEvery year at the National Western Stock Show, Rodeo, and Horse Show in Denver, the National Western grand champion steer is exhibited in the lobby of Brown's Palace Hotel. Around this fact, Waldron has built the story of how young Zack, his father, and their bull Buster make it to the show. Snow and ice force them to drive their truck through downtown. Meanwhile, young Alice and her mother arrive at the hotel where they run the gift shop. While the truck is stuck in downtown traffic, Buster gets loose and, with Zack chasing after him, thunders into the hotel. Alice is suddenly facing him. With Zack's encouragement, the frightened Alice sings until Buster is calm enough for Zack to halter him. They then invite the delighted Alice to join them at the stock show. Pen-and-ink drawings combine with gouache to create vigorous scenes of snow, city, and a believable cast of characters. There's a fine dramatic contrast between the hotel's elegant lobby and the bull's agitated movements. Buster is the star of it all, depicted in his muscular strength, charging, watching suspiciously, and finally walking off peacefully. The author adds notes on the facts behind the story. 2006, Red Deer Press, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz