Gr 2-4-- Weidt combines fact and legend in this fictional account written for audiences just beyond the easy-reader stage. Highlighting several incidents occurring between 1859 and Hickok's death in 1877, she relates interesting antedotes from the frontiersman's life after he left home at the age of 15 to head West. She admits that her story may seems a bit farfetched, but youngsters will enjoy Bill's fight with a cinnamon bear and remember many of these brief, tall-tale-like vignettes. Casino's lively pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations reproduced in black and white capture the action and extend the humor of the narrative. While the biographical information is limited, this book can be used to introduce readers to this legendary, all-American lawman. --Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA
One of the American West's most colorful characters was Wild Bill Hickok--lawman, scout, teamster, showman. Here, Bill's story is told in the spirited voice of one who enjoys stretching the truth a bit, with some of the facts and a lot of the legends. Of course, no one is sure how he got the name Bill, since he was born James Butler Hickok in 1837 on a farm in northern Illinois. But wild he was, since he could outride and outshoot the best of them. As slim as this book is, most of the important stories seem to be here, including his accidentally killing one of his own deputies in a shootout and his legendary bare-fisted tumble with a bear. Kids ready for chapter books will have fun reading about one of America's favorite legends, who was part daredevil and part dandy.