I Wanna Be a Cowgirl

Angela DiTerlizzi, illus. by Elizabet Vukovic. Beach Lane, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4814-5299-1

A girl with pink skin, tousled hair, and eager black eyes imagines life as a cowgirl “way out west,” and it’s pretty sweet. She saddles up her stick pony and heads to the backyard to milk the cows (two rubber gloves on a clothesline stand in for udders) and “take a bath/ right in the creek!” (a backyard wading pool), before moseying home for a well-earned night’s sleep. DiTerlizzi’s rhyming text is simple and direct, with the requisite down home lilt (“I’ll check in on my chicken coops./ I’ll make my rope do loop-de-loops—/ a lasso spinnin’, makin’ hoops”). In her first picture book, Vukovic (the Jasmine Toguchi series) depicts her stylish heroine in a wide range of framings—she comes across as wholly independent and powered by boundless, sunny energy. But what gives the pages the strongest impact—and a vibe of vintage commercial art—is the combination of a breezy sketchlike style and a limited palette: red for anything associated with cowgirl fantasy, and grassy green for just about everything else. Ages 4–8. Author’s agency: Gotham Group. Illustrator’s agency: Shannon Associates. (Nov.)