cover image Armadillo Rodeo

Armadillo Rodeo

Jan Brett. Putnam Publishing Group, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-22803-2

Brett (The Wild Christmas Reindeer; Trouble with Trolls) here gives her trademark, exquisitely detailed art a Western flair as she sets this endearing tale ""deep in the heart of Texas hill country."" ""Don't go gettin' distracted on me,"" a mother armadillo cautions Bo, one of her four young 'uns. Undeterred, the ever-curious Bo follows a lizard down to the creek just as young Harmony Jean slides down the bank, trying to scuff up her brand-new ""pointy-toed, high-heeled, hand-tooled chili-pepper red boots with fancy cutwork, tall tops, and a Curly H brand."" Bo (who, like all armadillos, can't see very well) mistakes the boots for a shiny red armadillo, whom he greets with a friendly ""Howdy."" Impeccably reproducing the design, stitching and trims of Western clothing, border panels follow Bo's brothers and Ma as they search for their weak-eyed wanderer. He, meanwhile, is having the time of his life at the Curly H rodeo, where he rides on the back of Harmony Jean's horse, munches on a jalapeno pepper under a table and kicks up his heels at a barn dance-all in the company of his new ""friend."" The high-spirited hero and action-filled art will please the author/artist's many fans. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)