Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Cowboy Book for Early Readers

Kate DiCamillo has a new early chapter book out and that is always big news - even when it involves a little cowboy.  So grab your boots and hat and shout "Yippie-i-o!"   It's time to watch Leroy Ninker make his dreams come true.

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Title:Leroy Ninker Saddles Up

Author:Kate DiCamillo

Target:Grades 1-4

Series:This is the first book in a planned series

What this book is about:
Leroy works at the drive-in theater, but he longs to be a cowboy.  He has the lasso, the boots, the hat and the “Yippie-i-o.,”  The only thing he is missing is the horse.  When he comes across a horse for sale, he is overjoyed.  He can now take fate into his hands and make his dreams come true.  However,  having a horse is a bit more difficult than Leroy expected, but he doesn’t shirk from the challenge, he wrestles his fate to the ground!

Why I like this book: 
This was a hard one for me.  I love Kate DiCamillo’s writing and this book is no exception.  Her big ideas, her repetition of aspirational thoughts and her use of vocabulary just charm me every time.  The problem here is the relevance of the character and the relatability of her big ideas.

First off, cowboys are less appealing to kids than they used to be.  However, I do understand that it draws on nostalgia, although that nostalgia may be more relevant for the parents.  Also, the idea of taking control of your fate feels a little too big for younger kids.  In her Bink and Gollie series for early readers, her larger truths are more spot on for her audience.  The ideas in this book may not resonate as well with younger kids.

However, her books are endearing so there will be kids out there who will be pleased.  My advice is to check this one out of the library before committing to see if your child is one of those kids.

Who this book is for: 
Leroy Ninker was a character that appeared in the Mercy Watson series.  Kids who enjoyed that series will certainly warm to Leroy as these books are very similar in look and tone.

Final thoughts:
Chris Van Dusen reprises his role as illustrator for this series with pictures to charm your socks off.  If you thought Mercy Watson was cute, wait until you see our little cowboy!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon :Leroy Ninker Saddles Up: Tales from Deckawoo Drive, Volume One  A portion of each purchase will go back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

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