From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Rancher Rose and her hired hands are skeptical when Cowboy Boyd and his unusual mount arrive for a job at the Double R Ranch. As it happens, Calliope is a sensitive and affectionate rhinoceros-though she is not a very good ranch horse. Each task that she attempts ends in failure and, unsurprisingly, the very night that Rancher Rose tells Boyd and Calliope to "roll on," a situation arises where only her unique talents can provide a happy ending. The bright, playful illustrations feature saguaro and tumbleweed, with towering buttes fading into the background and an abundance of wildlife. The figures are expressive and exaggerated and add a great deal of humor to the text. Cowboy Boyd never gives up: "I got a real strong belief in Calliope," and readers can't help but root for the charming rhinoceros with her eager-to-please smile, demure manner, and long dainty eyelashes. Although the plot isn't fresh, the oddball premise and strong setting make this a fun choice for read-alouds and older storytimes, especially for readers who can pull off a good twang.-Anna Haase Krueger, Ramsey County Library, White Bear Lake, MNα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Cowboy Boyd and Mighty Calliope is for the cowboy kid in all of us, telling the charming story of an aspiring young cattle rancher and his trusty rhino steed, Calliope. That’s right, a rhino. Riding into the Double R Ranch, Boyd’s “horse” was instantly labeled the shortest, dustiest, and lumpiest mount ever seen, and a few smashed fences and barn doors later, Calliope and Boyd are politely asked to leave. But when a storm scatters the herd, Boyd knows it’s up to Calliope to “KER-THUD” her way to saving days and turning heads. This gratifying picture book spins the simple tale of a transient young rancher into a playful romp that will have kids giggling every time Calliope gleefully crashes through the bunkhouse. Moser’s creative premise is well executed by Van Doninck’s bold, stylized illustrations, and together, their work brings humor and confidence to the page. Put this in front of a younger reader with a passion for the Wild West, and watch the smiles until the cows come home. Preschool-Grade 2. --Ben Spanner