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Children's LiteratureAGERANGE: Ages 5 to 8.
This is Crummel and Donahue's fourth joint venture, including an introduction to the dog Ten Gallon Bart, Sheriff of Dog City. The appeal of these books lies in the way a fairly innocuous story line becomes delightful because of wordplay and exaggeration. The characters names, for example, are straight out of Western mythology via Animal Farm--Hopalong Hare, Calamity Cow, Nannie Oakley, and Miss Kitty. The joke at the heart of the story is that Crazy Bull, star of Buffalo Chips Wild West Show, is sleepy instead of ferocious and Bart's challenge is to wake him up long enough to get him bucking. Though the advice of his friends does not work, taking away Crazy Bulls red blanky does and Bart gets the ride of his life. All in good fun, but what will really keep children coming back to this book are Donahue's wonderful collage illustrations. She uses a variety of fine papers to create texture as some of the animals are shown decked out in western dress and others, like Bart make do with a bandana and ten gallon hat. Especially for children who love cowboys, this is a good addition to a home or preprimary classroom library. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry