October 5, 2012

31 Days of Awesome Kids' Books: The Gingerbread Cowboy

Those of you who don't live in the southwestern U.S. have probably never thought about this - but most kids' picture books depict life in northern or eastern states. They talk about kids playing in the grass, leaves falling from trees, and having to dress up warmly for snowy days. They describe things like porcupines, raccoons, squirrels, and other creatures we rarely encounter. You never see a mention of a prairie dog or a javelina or lizard. Or going swimming on Christmas Day. (Which I have done!)

Fairly often I end up having to explain things to Eleanor by saying, "Well, we don't have ____ here, but in other places they do."

That's why I really like The Gingerbread Cowboy. It's a retelling of the "Can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!" story - set in a very Arizona-like milieu.

The Gingerbread Cowboy by Janet Squires

It starts out with a rancher's wife, who makes biscuits every day. One day she decides she's tired of biscuits, and she makes a gingerbread cowboy instead. He jumps out of the oven and runs away. 

The rancher, his wife, a roadrunner, a javelina, some longhorn cattle, some cowboys, and a coyote all join in the chase. The gingerbread cowboy manages to evade everyone but the coyote, who "tossed the Gingerbread Cowboy into their air like a flapjack on a griddle and swallowed him in one gulp."

The Gingerbread Cowboy by Janet Squires
The last page ends with, "And that was the end of the Gingerbread Cowboy." and shows the coyote making gingerbread with the rancher and his wife.

The Gingerbread Cowboy is a cute, brightly illustrated story - but maybe a bit disturbing to tinies who would be upset with the eating of the main protagonist. It could be a nice way to introduce your kids to southwestern culture though!

Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommended age: 2-5

Where do you live? 
Have you read kids' books set there?

This post is day five of my 31 Days of Awesome Kids' Books.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links.