cover image Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy

Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy

Jan Thomas. S&S/Beach Lane, $12.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4424-4276-4

Those who know and love Thomas will guess that the title of her latest is a clue that something is afoot. In this case, it’s the word “Brave,” because the titular cowboy is anything but. The little cows under his care (clearly the same breed as the goofy bovines of 2011’s Is Everyone Ready for Fun?) are ready to hit the hay under the stars. But each time the cowboy starts his lullaby (the sappy and monotonous lyrics of which will have kids and grownups giggling), he mistakes something innocuous for something scary, shouts “Eeeeek!” (instead of “goodnight”), and has to restart the song. But Brave Cowboy isn’t the only one to emit an “Eeeeek” that night, proving that sometimes a lullaby is all a cowboy needs to tame a terror. Like Thomas’s other stories, this one is ostensibly as uncomplicated as her big, loopy cartooning. But it’s actually a little gem of sketch comedy, drawing on a deep understanding of how timing, repetition, and modulation can make a story both fun to read aloud and a guaranteed laugh-getter, time and time again. Ages 3–5. (Sept.)