Tex the Cowboy

Sarah Garland, Author
Sarah Garland, Author Dutton Books $12.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-525-45418-2
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In six comic-book-style episodes starring bungling cowboy Tex, his trusty horse Gloria and his nemesis Hank Bones, Garland (Going to Playschool) cheerfully lampoons the western genre. Most of Tex's success can be attributed to Gloria, a sturdily built dapple-gray. Where Tex wears a simpleton's smile, Gloria scowls in concentration, and she always shows up in the nick of time: it is she who derails Hank (by sitting on him), saves a stagecoach from robbery and strikes oil on Tex's goldless gold claim. Tex typically gets all the credit, however, prompting Gloria to either wink at the reader or glare at her owner's skinny backside. Necessarily small because of the book's many-panels-to-a-page format, Garland's jaunty sketches nonetheless convey her hero's gullible nature and the traditional wide-open spaces. Deadpan narration and voice bubbles tell the basic stories, while the expressive ink-and-watercolor drawings provide the punch lines. While droll details abound, most of the humor is provided by sneaky Hank and the teamwork between tenderfoot Tex and his streetsmart steed. Ages 7-10. (June)
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