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Cowboy Slim Hardcover – February 1, 2006
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From School Library Journal
Grade 1-3–Slim wants to be a cowboy but he cant saddle a horse or lasso anything, and, worst of all, he writes poetry. When the other cowhands tell him that cowboys dont mess around with no fancy, perfumed words, he reluctantly puts his writing away to concentrate on real cowboy stuff. He does his best to prove himself when the group takes the cattle out on the open range, but he gets sent to the dusty, lowly place at the back of the herd. The dispirited Slim, having given up his dream, is headed back home when the cattle, spooked by a storm, stampede and overtake him. His poetry calms the herd and saves the day. This tale is chock-full of Western slang, similes, and verbs missing the letter g, giving it a distinctive Western flavor that is fun to read aloud. Danneberg includes lush descriptions that give a poetic feel to the text and provide a nice segue into Cowboy Slims poetry, but also creates pacing that can be a little slow. Apples pencil-and-watercolor illustrations are done in muted desert shades that perfectly capture the feel of the open range and make the landscape an integral part of the tale. The people and animals have comic expressions. The poems, set apart from the narrative text by their font and placement, blend seamlessly with the illustrations. This book is a great introduction to poetry and would work nicely paired with the work of Baxter Black, Cowboy Poet.–Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH
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In Danneberg's Cowboy Slim, the newcomer at the WJ Ranch confesses that he longs to be "a real cowboy," but inspired by the sights, scents, and sounds around him, Slim finds himself writing poetry instead. Although he tries to perfect more practical skills, his fellow cowboys must rescue him from one disaster after another. They learn the power of poetry, though, when the herd stampedes and Slim saves the day. Proving that poetic language doesn't have to be flowery, the well-chosen words of the narrative read aloud beautifully. Apple's detailed pencil drawings, washed with watercolors in desert tones, create a pleasing setting and a distinctive cast of characters; the cattle express emotions effectively. A droll tribute to the long tradition of cowboy poets, this will please any young tenderfoot who feels the call of the range.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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