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Cowboy Small (Lois Lenski Books) Hardcover – November 27, 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews
Book 7 of 9 in the Mr. Small Series

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Cowboy Small takes good care of his horse, Cactus. In return, Cactus helps Cowboy Small get work done on the range. Together they round up cattle for branding and live the good life. At night, Cowboy Small eats at the chuck wagon, sings with his friends, and sleeps under the stars.

About the Author

Born in Springfield, Ohio, in 1893, Lois Lenski achieved acclaim as both an author and illustrator of children s literature. For her Regional America series, Lenski traveled to each of the places that became a subject of one of her books. She did meticulous research and spoke with children and adults in the various regions to create stories depicting the lives of the inhabitants of those areas. Her novel of Florida farm life, "Strawberry Girl", won the Newbery Award in 1946. She also received a Newbery Honor in 1942 for "Indian Captive", a fictionalized account of the life of Mary Jemison. Lenski died in 1974.


Born in Springfield, Ohio, in 1893, Lois Lenski achieved acclaim as both an author and illustrator of children s literature. For her Regional America series, Lenski traveled to each of the places that became a subject of one of her books. She did meticulous research and spoke with children and adults in the various regions to create stories depicting the lives of the inhabitants of those areas. Her novel of Florida farm life, "Strawberry Girl", won the Newbery Award in 1946. She also received a Newbery Honor in 1942 for "Indian Captive", a fictionalized account of the life of Mary Jemison. Lenski died in 1974.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Series: Lois Lenski Books
  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (November 27, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375810757
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375810756
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.4 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
My 3-year old got this book for Christmas. He was so taken with it that (of course) we had to read it four times in a row before bed. Then he had to take his stick horse to bed with him in a sleeping bag (or his bedroll, as Cowboy Small would say)and lie on the floor to "look at the stars." The words are simple and the pictures are wonderful. A great book for any little cowboy or cowgirl.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a classic book that our almost 3 year old daughter loves to look at again and again. She has learned many new words (curry, saddle, spurs, saddlehorn, etc.), has memorized most of the text, and is very attached to anything related to horses. The text is simple, the illustrations are wonderful, and the story is charming. Our daughter has lots of books and this is one that she seeks out from among all the others in her bookshelf. You'll love it too.
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Format: Hardcover
My 2-year old son and I just checked "Cowboy Small" out of the library. Couldn't believe my luck in finding this book! This is the first story book that's held my son's interest past the first few pages and all the way to the end and back again, and I mean backwards through every page.
My son is into horses in a big way right now and one of his favorite movies is "The Cowboys" with John Wayne and Bruce Dern. (A few bad parts we skip through.) Amazingly, the book and movie are very similar is many aspects: chuck wagon, sleeping out, campfire, cattle drive/roundup, playing guitar, and breaking a horse in a round pen with the cowboys sitting on the top rail -- right out of the movie!
Lois Lenski's a national treasure. Why didn't I know about him before? And where are the greeting cards and window valances and sheets? Half joking here, but I wouldn't mind getting my son some Cowboy Small sheets when he moves to a big-boy bed. ;)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
... and they didn't do a very good job of it!
My son and I have read an older (from the 90s) version of the book and loved it. So I purchased the newest board book version- and they've really changed it. The story has been shortened: no bedroll, no fixing the fence, no branding. And the language has been dumbed down, too- no currying, for example. Too bad! I'll be giving away the new version and buying an older, used one instead! I'd recommend any other Mr. Small fans do the same.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Our 1.5-year-old daughter was riding on her dad's back like a cowgirl one day and took a little tumble off. She began to cry. I said, "Kerplop! Cowboy Small hits the dust! But, he's a pretty good cowboy after all..." and she was all smiles.

That was more than three years ago, and this book has been one of the few steady books on our (very full, always rotating) bookshelf ever since. We now have three children, ages 5, 3, and 1, and they all still enjoy it. The oldest doesn't pick it out on her own anymore, but the others still do, and the oldest doesn't object. It is really one of those books that is completely wholesome, entertaining, interesting, and educational. I would get it for children between about 18 months and 3 years in particular. We really love this book. We checked it out from the library at least six times, for two months at a time each time, before I finally realized that this one had staying power and I might as well finally buy it!

I've read a few other Lois Lenski books and I think this one is by far the best. If your little one only had ten books to read every day for a year, I would include this one. And I still enjoy it after a few years of frequent reading, so that's saying something too!

If you're looking to buy it as a gift, I may as well add, the price never drops down on this, and I haven't been able to find it cheaper anywhere else, unfortunately.
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
Great book, my son loves cactus. The grammar is a bit off and u have to add a few words but he likes reading it with me and pointing out the animals. He also likes the song in the middle of the book. Good book
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
A cute, very simple little book, perfect for my 3 year old nephew who loves dramatic role-play. Gave him this book along with a cowboy dress-up set so that he would realize some "jobs" a cowboy does and hopefully avoid the "gun" scenarios. It seems to have worked. There is not really much of a story line and illustrations are colourful but basic but it served its purpose.
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Format: Board book
Our great-grandbaby loves Cowboy Small. He is only one but he enjoys this book so much and I am so pleased. He giggles when I read it to him and he loves to look at the pictures. I, too, love Lois Lenski's art work as well as her stories. She made me happy as a child and continues to make children happy. Cowboy Small is a keeper at our house.
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