Cool Clicks
Till the Cows Come Home by Jodi Icenoggle Robertson, Ages 4-8

Icenoggle lassos a traditional Jewish folktale ("The Button Story"), sets it in the American West, and rigs it up with tongue-tingling cowboy language to create an engaging story. A young cowboy, gifted in making saddles and bridles, receives a sturdy, soft-as-silk piece of leather from a grateful cowpuncher and stitches it into a pair of "whoopi-ti-yi-yo chaps." When the chaps become worn out, the cowboy uses the leather to make, successively, a "trail-blazin' vest"; a "rootin', tootin' pair of gloves"; a "rip-snortin' hatband"; and, finally, a "jim-dandy button." All of these objects reflect the aging of the leather as well as the context of the cowboy's life, as he grows older, gets married, and has a child. Finally, nothing remains of the original material, but the man has a story to share with his daughter. Chartier's action-packed watercolor illustrations are a perfect match for the author's Western colloquialisms. The full-spread paintings are filled with soft-hued details of a rough-and-tumble life with ranch animals, the rising vista of mountains and prairies, and the cowhand's devotion to his family. Pair this book with Simms Taback's Joseph Had a Little Overcoat (Viking, 1999) for a striking look at contrasting cultures.
Ages 4-8