Children's Literature - Judy KatshGibbons has a much showcased talent for presenting a simple, but never simplistic overview of a complicated topic. She does that here, again. Gibbons describes the life, environment, and culture of the cow tenders of the Old West and of contemporary cattle country. She allows that cowgirls did not play a big role historically, but does not exclude them from her descriptions or illustrations. There's a lot to learn here for both the very young, "I want to grow up to be a cowboy" reader and the older, more sophisticated students investigating The Old West and the truth about the mythic American Cowboy.
Explains and illustrates the equipment, work, and lifestyle of cowboys and cowgirls in the Old West.
School Library JournalGr 1-4Gibbons turns her attentionand her PlaymobilR-like drawings, in which even rustlers have cherubic facesto the Wild West. Focusing on the 30-year period following the Civil War (without ever mentioning either this historical turning point or the reasons the cowboy heyday came to a close), she briefly notes the few wealthy ranchers who owned vast ranches, introduces the cowboy and defines his accessories, and spends a couple of pages on rodeos. She devotes about half of this book to the toughest, least glamorous, yet most romanticized aspect of the cowboy way: the roundup and cattle drive. Gibbons's ink-outlined watercolors convey the process of moving as many as 3000 longhorns from South Texas to Kansas City or maybe Cheyenne. Following her own tried-and-true layout, she has given youngsters yet another useful historical introduction to a popular topic. Teachers may want to supplement Yippee-Yay! with Meghan Merker and Nate Brown's Roll On, Little Dogies (Gibbs Smith, 1996), which comes with an audio tape the includes several authentic cowboy songs.John Sigwald, Unger Memorial Library, Plainview, TX
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