Way Out West with a Baby

Mike Brownlow, Author Handprint Books $13.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-929927-04-3
Though set in the Wild West, this rollicking, rhyming romp was first published in Great Britain and makes a smooth saunter across the Atlantic. In his first children's book, Brownlow combines lively verse with comical, effectively exaggerated cartoon art to recount the tale of three rough, tough cowboys who one evenin' at chow time follow the sound of a wail and find a baby in the sage brush. Bumbling through their first dealings with a young 'un, the trio encounters some surprises: ""She's wetter than a flood in spring,/ And Poo!... will you just smell her?""/ And so he took the diaper off.../ ""Hey guys... this girl's a fella!"" Never missing a beat and maintaining a gallop pace, the narrative recounts the men's journey through flash floods, thunder and lightning (one bolt of which ""barbecued a cow!"") to return the baby to his mother, whom they rightly suspect is a member of a wagon train they'd spied earlier that day. Kids will cotton to the author's brand of humor, as evident in his visuals as in his verse, and will hope that Brownlow rides again before too many suns have set. And adults will enjoy the author's parting reference to that country standard, ""Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys...."" Ages 3-7. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
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