Cover image for A wild cowboy
A wild cowboy
Smith, Danna.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, [2004]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
A young cowboy and his younger brother spend an action-packed day at their Grandmother's place.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.3 0.5 79657.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
J PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
J PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



When a little boy gets to spend the day at Grandma's, he's really preparing to go on the cowboy ride of his dreams. With his imagination in tow, he and his partner (brother) ride their horses (Mum and Dad) to meet their ranch hand (Grandma). After the parents depart, the posse rustles up cattle' and has a great day doing all the things that cowfolk do! Then when night falls, this cowboy's fantastic adventure ends in a wonderfully reassuring way, as he and his 'horse' are reunited, just in time to be tucked into beds.'

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS-Gr. 1. The young, seemingly half-black, half-Asian protagonist of this rhyming picture book transforms an urban trip to grandma's house into the Wild West adventure of a real live buckaroo. Sure, maybe the cowboy's pardner is his little brother and the herd he rounds up is a litter of puppies in Grandma's backyard, but in this chubby-cheeked cowpoke's world, the illusion is complete. The simple rhyme is sometimes clunky: We set up camp, this cowboy's home / A fire flickers and pops / I find some grub, some cowboy food / I eat till the rumblin' stops. But the contrast between the boy's monomaniacal cowboy vision and the illustrations that portray the reality of his city setting creates some amusing surprises. Freeman's illustrations, packed with cowboy action, are vividly colored yet softly textured like chalk pictures on a blackboard. Children who love to pretend will see themselves in this imaginative boy who blazes his own trail. --Karin Snelson Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

For a city boy who loves playing cowboy, it's happy trails when he and his "pardner" (his younger brother) go to Grandma's apartment for the day. Freeman (Jazz Baby) comes up with some fun scenarios to accompany debut author Smith's text. An exciting cattle drive involves herding Grandma's new litter of puppies before they tangle with the neighborhood alley cats; the campfire "grub" (popcorn by the cozy fireplace while Grandma plays guitar) is mighty fine, too. At dusk, when "the coyotes sing with a moan" (the howling, now-corralled puppies), Mom and Dad take the boys back home, where the "buckaroo" soon rides off into the sunset of slumber, dreaming he is "a wild cowboy/ Who sleeps beneath the moon." The story is slight, and the plainspoken, literally descriptive rhymes do little more than act as captions to the pictures. But Freeman's expressive characters, featuring a family with an African-American father and an Asian mother, the energetic perspectives and rich, dense colors bring the boy's Wild West yearnings to life. Ages 3-6. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-"I am a boy, a wild cowboy/A real live buckaroo." These words of a small child evoke the idioms of the West and offer a joyful reminder of the power of imagination. The boy packs his "cowpoke stuff," mounts his horse (a piggyback ride with Mom), and blazes a trail out West to Grandma's house, where he and his "pardner" (younger brother) spend the day. Despite the urban setting, Grandma's house becomes the wild frontier as the children bring in the cattle (catch some puppies), set up camp (pitched before the fireplace), and eat their grub (popcorn). In the evening, the tired siblings' parents take them home. The story has a natural flow, like a child's stream of consciousness, and the rhyming text reads aloud smoothly. The vibrant artwork shows a loving, racially mixed family; the affection and warmth that surrounds the brothers is evoked through small details-bedtime caresses, smiles shared between adults and children, and the family portraits placed throughout the scenes. Freeman imbues her bright-eyed drovers with enthusiasm, drawing readers into this imaginary adventure.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.