cover image Shooting Star: Annie Oakley, the Legend

Shooting Star: Annie Oakley, the Legend

Debbie Dadey. Walker & Company, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8027-8484-1

This tall tale about sharpshooter Annie Oakley bounces comfortably between facts and fiction. While it is true that Oakley shot candles out with single bullets and defeated the Grand Duke Michael of Russia in a match, she never shot craters in the moon or the points off a star, as she does in this spirited yarn. Dadey (Dragons Don't Cook Pizza) describes shooting the star with gutsy exaggeration and a down-home lilt: ""The explosion was so loud it caused the Snake River to flow backward and it shucked corn in fifteen states."" First-time illustrator Goto's Wild West characters match the mood to a bull's-eye. Robotic and carnivalesque, they look as if they've stepped out of the sort of amusement park shooting gallery where a well-aimed shot animates mannequins and starts a player piano. The smiling, bug-eyed animals and hyper-animated faces of Annie and her adopted father Sitting Bull give the far-fetched tale a joyous, larger-than-life feel. Ages 5-8. (Apr.)