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									Frank, John. The Toughest Cowboy. Outrageous illustrations that mix cartoon and caricature enhance the spirited text of this tale, wherein a pack of the roughest, toughest cowboys to ever ride the open range are tamed by a dainty dog named Foofy. Other books that have one of more of these connective threads: men and women of the “Wild West,” or cowboy culture: Buehner, Caralyn. Fanny’s Dream. Fanny is a farm girl Cinderella who has to reconsider her true wishes when she meets an unexpected “man of her dreams.” Also recommended: Cindy Ellen: A Wild Western Cinderella by Susan Lowell, and Helen Ketteman’s gender bending, “Wild West” version of the Cinderella story, Bubba the Cowboy Prince. Carlson, Laurie. Boss of the Plains. The Toughest Cowboy renames some Wild West establishments, like the saloon. Here, Carlson gives the real biographical lowdown on a recognizable western name: the Stetson hat. Ernst, Lisa Campbell. Hannah Mae O’Hannigan’s Wild West Show. City slicker Hannah Mae prepares herself to visit Uncle Coot who lives “out West” by herding hamsters and lassoing her stuffed animals. Freedman, Russell. Cowboys of the Wild West. Freedman uses careful research and archival photography in this realistic account of how the wild frontier was tamed. Also recommended by the same author: Children of the Wild West. Johnston, Tony. The Cowboy and the Black-eyed Pea. Farethee Well, daughter of a wealthy Texas rancher, sets her sights on finding a “real cowboy” with the intentions of matrimony. Knight, Amelia Stewart. The Way West: Journal of a Pioneer Woman. In 1853 Amelia Stewart Knight, her husband, and her seven children, begin a covered wagon journey that takes them from Iowa to Oregon. Through this excerpted diary, readers can see what “tough” really meant as the family negotiates the continental crossing. Lester, Julius. Black Cowboy, Wild Horses: A True Story. This is the story of Bob Lemmons, a real-life tough cowboy (as opposed to Grizz) who gained fame as a legendary tracker, and whose exploits included single-handedly bringing in a huge herd of cattle. Nolen, Jerdine. Thunder Rose. Thunder Rose was born on a stormy night and sets out to tame lightning as soon as she was born. This African American cowgirl heroine performs all kinds of amazing feats that are both humorous and memorable.

Nislick, June Levitt. Zayda Was a Cowboy. Here’s a glimpse of the cowboy life we seldom see: a Russian Jewish immigrant lands in Texas, knowing little English and not a single person, and is recruited to work on a cattle ranch. His new home offers a way to make a living, a strange community, and even some ties to home. Rounds, Glen. Cowboys. Rounds’s understated humor marks his simple sequencing of a cowboy’s day, from sunup till sundown. Scieszka, Jon. The Good, the Bad, and the Goofy. Three friends, Sam, Joe and Fred travel through time back to the “Wild West” to tangle with stampeding cows, rampaging Indians and being rescued by Custer’s Seventh Calvary. Sharmat, Marjorie Weinman. Gila Monsters Meet You at the Airport. A New York City boy’s preconceived notions about moving “out West” cause him great anxiety but makes for a story that finds humor in our misconceptions of unfamiliar territory. Silverman, Erica. Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa. In the first book of a planned series, readers meet two distinct personalities: the very clever Kate and her slightly slothful cowhorse Cocoa. Despite these differences, the two create a friendship at their home on the range. Smith, Janice Lee. Jess and the Stinky Cowboys. The Wild West goes to the dogs when canine Jess and her Aunt Gussy are charged with keeping the peace – even when the worst smelling dogs in the county come to town and break the established No Stink Law. Stanley, Diane. Saving Sweetness. When Sweetness escapes from the local orphanage, she survives in the West just fine, thank you, even though the sheriff thinks she needs rescuing. The broad humor on the plains and local colloquialisms connect with The Toughest Cowboy. The sequel, Raising Sweetness, is also recommended. Stanley, Jerry. Cowboys and Longhorns. A realistic perspective on the reality of life as an American cowboy. Stanley separates the factual from the “bigger than life” myth of a very hazardous career. Steig, Jeanne. Tales from Gizzard’s Grill. This beginning chapter book takes a light-hearted look at the Old West through three stories in rhyme, concluding with a duel of the stinky socks. Timberlake, Amy. The Dirty Cowboy.

When a young cowboy takes his annual bath, he loses more than the fleas and dirt: even his own dog doesn’t recognize him and the two tussle for his clothes until the cowboy emerges dirty, but with his recognizable smell, and naked. The art cleverly, and repeatedly, conceals any X-rated views. White, Linda Arms. Comes a Wind. Competitive brothers, Clement and Clyde, try to “out blow” each other telling stories of the winds they have experienced. However, when a real wind blows, will they be able to work together to save their mother?

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