cover image Lexie the Word Wrangler

Lexie the Word Wrangler

Rebecca Van Slyke, illus. by Jessie Hartland. Penguin/Paulsen, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-399-16957-1

Lexie is a cowgirl, but she wrangles words, not cattle—a concept that Van Slyke and Hartland explore with droll wordplay and bold, folk art–style artwork. Lexie’s talents include growing letters into words (a turns to at, cat, and cattle on a tree), tying words together ( “She could take a stick of butter and a pesky fly and make a beautiful butterfly”), and storytelling, but someone is causing mischief by mixing up words. “Ain’t no fun sleeping out under the rats,” grumbles Lexie after star gets jumbled. Luckily for Lexie, the culprit is an apprentice in the making. Luckily for readers, Van Slyke and Hartland deliver linguistic delights on every page. Compound words, anagrams, word chains, puns—is there anything Lexie (and this book) can’t do? Ages 5–8. [em]Author’s agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Apr.) [/em]