cover image Cowboy Country

Cowboy Country

Ann Herbert Scott. Clarion Books, $16 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-395-57561-1

``You say you've never been to cowboy country and you'd like to take a look,'' says Scott's nameless narrator, a genial old-time buckaroo who conducts a young companion (and the reader) on a horseback tour of Southwestern cattle lands. Scott ( A Brand Is Forever ), who based her work on interviews with Nevada cowboys, succinctly captures the laconic speaking rhythms and distinctive jargon of her subject, endowing her narrator with a style at once conversational and poetic. She packs in meaty descriptions of the working cowboy's concerns, from such jobs as roping and branding to the gear he requires to such occupational hardships as droughts and blizzards. Lewin's ( Sami and the Time of the Troubles ; Tiger Trek ) well-lit watercolors suggest the affability of the weathered narrator and the awe of the boy with him. His full-spread art bridges a variety of settings to convey the spectrum of Southwestern scenery, from the delicate tans and greens of the open range to the cold blues of the desert's night sky. Ages 5-8. (Aug.)