cover image Rodeo Red

Rodeo Red

Maripat Perkins, illus. by Molly Idle. Peachtree, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-56145-816-5

The plot of newcomer Perkins’s tale is simple: an older sister persuades her baby brother to relinquish her favorite stuffed dog by distracting him with a toy she doesn’t like. Its chief attraction is the narrator’s cowboy drawl: “The first time our eyes met, I knew Slim was trouble,” she says about her new brother. “He looked as slippery as a snake’s belly in a mudslide.” More giggles come as she describes the push-and-pull of sibling life: “I tried reasoning with Slim. I showed him the border between his camp and mine. But that scallywag.... moseyed back into my ranch like he owned the place.” Working in a palette of muted pastel colors, Caldecott honoree Idle (Flora and the Flamingo) parodies cowboy motifs, drawing the sister framed in the doorway of her brother’s room like a sheriff entering a saloon. When the girl is sentenced to a time-out for her misdeeds, she holds the rungs of a kitchen chair like the prison bars. The predictable action and tidy ending make this a good choice for a favorite young cowpoke. Ages 2–6. Illustrator’s agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (Mar.)