Kylie Jean, Rodeo Queen

Marci Peschke, illus. by Tuesday Mourning, Capstone/Picture Window, $4.95 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-4048-6618-8
Self-assured, chatty Kylie Jean declares, "I'm going to be a beauty queen. Just you wait and see!" Yet the eight-year-old Texan sets her sights on another title after dreaming that she's been named rodeo queen. Ruling out rope tricks and bull riding, she opts to enter the barrel-racing competition in the upcoming Wild West Rodeo, and she is tickled when her grandfather gives her a pony, one grandmother agrees to train her, and her other grandmother buys her a shirt and boots—pink to match her favorite cowboy hat. Kylie Jean's success at the rodeo is predictable, but her good nature, as well as that of her family ("If you promise to never get on a bull again, I promise to figure out a better plan for you," Kylie Jean's uncle says after her disastrous stint on a mechanical bull) offset the slightness of the story. Picturing the heroine with an oversize head and spindly limbs, Mourning's b&w cartoons, accented with pink washes, feel cheerful and fresh. Available simultaneously: Kylie Jean, Blueberry Queen; Kylie Jean, Drama Queen; and Kylie Jean, Hoop Queen. Ages 6–9. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/20/2010
Release date: 01/01/2011
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