Rodeo Red by Maripat Perkins (Author) and Molly Idle (Illustrator)
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?
This beautiful book presents a brief snapshot of life for Rodeo Red. Red is a cowgirl. She spends time with her hound dog, Rusty. The narrative uses some good ol’ colloquial cowboy dialect, which keeps the story light and fun. Rodeo’s lovin’ life, until a new varmint shows up in the house (a baby), and the attention that Red used to enjoy, is no longer exclusively hers. Red’s exaggerated language makes for hilarious juxtaposition throughout the book, bringing out lots of laughs and humorous moments of disconnect between word and image.
And speaking of image, it’s impossible to read this book without falling in love with Molly Idle’s wonderfully vibrant and crisp, colored with pastels and flesh tones. Many of the frames mimic stills from old Westerns when the hero and the villain are soon to duel. The slightly exaggerated body types also give the images a warm and funny tone that will appeal to children and adults alike. The overall story arc is one that any first child can identify with as well, as Red slowly comes to understand what it means to be a big sister.
This book promises to be a crowd pleaser!