Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Rodeo Red by Maripat Perkins

Rodeo Red by Maripat Perkins, illustrated by Molly Idle
Rating: 5 stars

Peachtree Press

Well, I'm just fit to be tied! This rodeo book is all that I've ever wanted in a sibling-cowboy book!

And I never even knew that's what I always wanted!

But yes indeed, I am smitten with Maripat Perkins' clever and sweet tale of two siblings working out how to live together. It doesn't hurt that she's got Caldecott honor-winner Molly Idle (Flora and the Flamingoillustrating "Rodeo Red," the heroine of this book; "Sideswiping Slim," her new little brother; and their story of a stolen pup named "Rusty."

Rusty belongs to Rodeo Red, and they "had always been happier than two buttons on a new shirt" until her little brother showed up. Rodeo Red nicknames him Sideswiping Slim even before his arms and legs reach out to everything that is hers.

Once Slim learns to walk, he wants to play with Rodeo Red, and wants her stuff, too. One day he steals Rusty, her stuffed dog and faithful sidekick--and her parents back him up. She tries to take justice into her own hands by sneaking into his room during a nap and stealing the dog back--but she just wakes the baby. She tries to tie up the thief, but...well, that doesn't go down very well either.

The Sheriff showed up and well...
What followed weren't pretty.
Rodeo Red gets thrown in jail. (Well, not jail really, but the backwards chair made my kids and I laugh out loud because it really does look like jail.) She's befuddled, frustrated, and locked up. Once released from jail, she slumps into her afternoon snack, trying to think up a plan.

A plan arrives in the form of a package with a swanky new stuffed animal for her. From her aunt, who is more of a "city slicker." The stuffed animal is not Red's cup of tea, but she successfully trades the beast for her faithful dog, and both siblings end the story happy.

I love it. Love, love, love it! The cowboy twang required of me to read this book out loud was sun fun and made me so happy that I wanted to slip it on top of the "to read" stack every day. Idle's illustrations are beautiful and funny (how she got that combination right is so impressive to me), but it all started with a great sibling story told in a clever, fun way. Loved it!

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