Giddyup!: Perfect Cowboy-Themed Picture Books for Reading Aloud

Are you a Horse?
Roy is in search of a "horse" but pesky animals keep showing up along the trail
Let's Sing a lullaby with the Brave Cowboy
Joe Cinders
Hannah Mae O’Hannigan’s Wild West Show

Howdy Partner!
Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a cowboy or cowgirl? Have you dreamed of roaming the range with your favorite horse with a beautiful sunset behind you? One thing that I know about being a cowboy is that you'll say, "Giddyup!" when you want your horse to move forward, and "Whoa!" when you command it to stop. I know, that's not much, isn't it? That's why I checked out these books about cowboys from the library. Check them out yourself and let us know what you think of the Wild West!

Are You a Horse? by Andy Rash

When Roy’s friends give him a saddle for his birthday, he sets out to find a horse. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know what a horse is. Along the way, he meets many animals who are not horses and who tell him so. Each animal names a trait that it has which is different than what a horse would have. The next creature who Roy meets has the characteristic the last animal didn’t but has another way that it is not like a horse. This continues for almost the whole book. Will this persistent cowboy find his trusty steed? You’ll only find out if you read! The book has cute illustrations and a story that will tickle listeners.

Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy by Jan Thomas

A cowboy fears the scary sights he sees at night. The lullaby that he is strumming comes to an abrupt halt each time a vision spooks him. Two cow-pals set him straight about the harmless things actually casting the shadows. However, what happens when the shadow really is caused by something scary—like a wolf! See for yourself in this book that is much more funny than frightening.

Joe Cinders by Marianne Mitchell/Illustrated by Bryan Langdo

Joe Cinders is a reversed Cinderella story. Joe is a hard-working cowboy who pines after Rosalinda. With lazy stepbrothers and a mysterious serape-wearing fellow who has magical powers, this story will be familiar to children who hear it. In addition to the gender-swap, this tale has a great Southwestern flair. Readers get treated to illustrations of cowboy hats and lassos, a fiesta in place of a traditional ball, and the glass slipper replaced by a red cowboy boot. This book will make even die-hard fairytale fans shout, “Yee haw!”

Hannah Mae O’Hannigan’s Wild West Show by Lisa Campbell Ernst

Hannah Mae lives in the city but has been a cowgirl at heart for her entire life. Her confused but supportive parents try to give her a lifestyle that fits her desires. However, due to city laws, they have to substitute hamsters for cows. How does this experience prepare Hannah Mae for real country living when she visits Uncle Coot’s ranch? Read to find out.

About the Author

Anna Francesca Garcia has worked at libraries in Nevada and Missouri for nine years. She earned her Master of Library and Information Sciences from the University of North Texas five years ago. Now, she’s the Outreach Education Librarian at Kansas City Public Library. While her beloved six-year-old daughter has known only a computerized catalog, Anna remembers the days of actual card catalogs. However, she reckons that horse-hitching-posts existed before her time.

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