by Maripat Perkins
Illustrated by Molly Idle
Published March, 2015
by Peachtree Publishers
Fiction Picture Book
Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Rodeo Red and her hound dog Rusty are happier than two buttons on a new shirt 'til Side Swiping Slim shows up. Red's sure anyone who hollers that much'll be hauled to the edge of town and told to skedaddle, but her parents are smitten. When Slim sets his eye on Rusty, Red'd better figure out a way to save her best friend in all the world. Can she bargain with a varmint?
I did not know what this book was about before reading it. I thought it was just about a little girl who liked to pretend she was a cowgirl. Well, it is about a little cowgirl, but so much more. I have read many books about the arrival of a new baby, but this one is different. Red tells the story of the arrival of her new baby brother, whom she calls Side Swiping Slim, in an adorably hilarious way. This quote says a lot, "Slim laid low for a while, but gradually he started moving into my territory." When Slim starts getting into Red's belongings and starts sleeping with her beloved stuffed dog Rusty, Red is forced to take desperate measures to get Rusty back.
I love everything about this book. Many children will relate to Red's story of the arrival of a new sibling and will laugh at how Red handles this new change. But it is a great read aloud for all children regardless of their sibling situation. It is filled with interesting vocabulary like cantakerous, skedaddle, gibberish and lickety-split. With sentences such as, "But that scallywag talked nothing but gibberish. He just moseyed back into my ranch like he owned the place", this book begs to be read aloud in your best cowgirl accent. The illustrations are done by the amazing Molly Idle and have her signature adorable characters with a softness that makes Rodeo Red all the more lovable. I highly recommend Rodeo Red for young readers Pre-K-2.