cover image Slim and Miss Prim

Slim and Miss Prim

Robert Kinerk, Rising Moon. Rising Moon Books, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-87358-689-4

Harris's (The Three Little Javelinas) watercolor caricatures and the rollicking verse of newcomer Kinerk make mighty fine pardners in this ballad about a patient cowhand named Slim and his boss, the garrulous Miss Marigold Prim: ""He mended her fences and herded her cattle/ and listened at length to Marigold's prattle."" One day, as Slim rounds up the herd, a band of scruffy rustlers kidnaps him and steals his cattle. As months pass, the feisty yet ladylike Miss Prim rides through county after county in search of her missing employee. But word of her quest reaches the rustler chief, whose men manage to snatch her as well. This lady, however, sure can talk, and her excessive chatter (""She lectured on manners, she lectured on crime,/ the importance of keeping appointments on time,/ brushing your teeth after breakfast and dinner,/ the foods you should eat to help you get thinner"") finally does the bad guys in. Harris offers some of his funniest work as he shows the properly coiffed Miss Prim pointing a white-gloved finger at the boorish bandits, whose table manners are an object lesson in Don'ts. Though Kinerk's rhythm skips a beat or two every now and then and he serves up some questionable rhymes (on/dawn; lot/ought), most of his rhymed couplets will roll right off the tongue. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)