By Maripat Perkins
Illustrated by Molly Idle
Rodeo Red and her dog Rusty are happy as two buttons on a shirt, until Sideswiping Slim starts horning in on their territory. Things only get worse when Slim kidnaps Rusty, especially since the sheriff takes his side! Rodeo Red is feeling lower than a snake’s belly. Will she ever find a way to get trusty pal Rusty back? It’ll take a clever plan, but Red is up to the task.
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This was probably the library find of the year for me. I pulled it off the shelf on a whim, and when we read through our library pile later that day this book was the best of the bunch, no contest. I laughed so hard! The girls thought it was a good book too, but I don’t know if they really understood why I thought it was so funny.
I’m going to start calling cantankerous people ‘lemon custards’.
The little girl in this story calls herself Rodeo Red, and her best friend is her stuffed dog named Rusty. She narrates the story in a constant stream of over the top cowboy lingo that cracked me up. The premise of the story is that she is less than enamored with her new baby brother, and becomes even less so as he grows big enough to bother her and her things. And when he takes Rusty? That’s the last straw. She does everything she can think of to get her friend back, but it seems even the sheriff and her deputy are against Red.
Did you catch that? The mom is the sheriff, and the dad is the deputy. And they wear badges. Pay attention when you read this book because there are all sorts of fun little details like that in it. This book is so fun to read aloud, especially if you use your best cowboy voice (I’m a big fan of using voices and accents when I read with my girls). It’s rated for ages 3-6, so if you have a cowhand in that age range give this book a try! I can guarantee you won’t regret it.
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