I thought it would be fun to do a post on Western Themed Books this week! As a child, I really wasn't exposed to much of the "Wild West" other than through Hollywood. I remember watching The Lone Ranger on television and movies, like Annie Get Your Gun, with Betty Hutton and Howard Keel, and True Grit, starring John Wayne. Now, as an adult, I live in the West, and when I walk on the horse trails in the hills behind my home, I try to imagine what life would have been like back then...I hear the grit of sand and dirt beneath my feet, feel the warm breeze and hot sun on my face, and smell the earthy scent of the orchid rockrose; but my mind more often wanders to the world of author Jessamyn West, (who grew up very close to my home) than to that of the Wild WEST!
"Landscape foams up around me like a painted picture where every brush stroke's got meaning. Meaning bursting out of weeds and fence rails" -from THE FRIENDLY PERSUASION, by Jessamyn West
YEE-HAW, PARTNER! I FOUND SOME GREAT WILD WEST-THEMED BOOKS TO HELP GET US THERE:
THE BRAVE COWBOY, by Joan Walsh Anglund (ages 4-8) Anglund's charming line drawings bring this little Cowboy to life! (The black line illustrations are what is happening in the boy's everyday life. The red line illustrations show what he is imagining is going on.)
COWBOY SMALL, by Losi Lenski (ages 4-8). Such a classic and I'm so glad it's in print! Cowboy Small and his horse, Cactus, take care of each other!
COWBOYS AND COWGIRLS: YippeeYay! by Gail Gibbons (ages 4-8) I really like Gail Gibbons' books. Her colorful watercolor illustrations make the details so interesting in all her books.
CINDY ELLEN: A Wild Western Cinderella by Susan Lowell, illustrated by Jane Manning (ages 4-8). Fun retelling has Cindy Ellen going to bbq's and rodeos, instead of the ball!
WESTWARD HO!: An Activity Guide to the Wild West (A Kid's Guide series) (ages 8-12) Fun activities and recipes for all things Western!
THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD by Lynn Reid Banks (series for ages 8-12) See my post from 6/3/10 "Books That Transport Us..."
BY THE GREAT HORN SPOON! by Sid Fleischman (ages 8-12) Wild West adventure during the California Gold Rush.
BUFFALO BILL by Ingri Parin D'Aulaire. (ages 8-12) Your child will meet William F. Cody in this beautiful picture book by the D'Aulaires.