Friday, November 6, 2009

Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa by Erica Silverman

It's time to herd cows. That's what cowgirls and cowhorses do. But on the way to the pasture, Cocoa decides he’s thirsty. After getting a drink at the creek, Cowgirl Kate asks if he's ready to herd cows. Not when he’s hungry! Two apples later, he claims he's too full to herd cows.

“You are a pig,” said Cowgirl Kate.
“No,” said Cocoa, “I am a horse.”

To pass the time, Cowgirl Kate tells Cocoa a story, the story of cowgirl who went to a ranch looking for a cowhorse. She’s a cowgirl from the boots up. He’s a cowhorse from the mane down. He promises to work hard every day, saying, “A cowhorse always does his job.” That’s when Cowgirl Kate knew she had found her horse.

Readers are introduced to this cow herding duo in Chapter One. The following chapters show how they work together and watch out for one another. Not only does Cowgirl Kate always have an apple or a carrot or a surprise for Cocoa when he needs it, but Cocoa also keeps on eye on Cowgirl Kate. When she climbs too high in a tree for his liking, he’s quickly there urging her down and back into the saddle. When Cowgirl Kate can’t get to sleep on a shivery night in the barn, Cocoa sings her a lullaby and snuggles close.

Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa, a Geisel Honor book, is perfect for readers transitioning to chapter books. Erica Silverman’s chapters are short and engaging, Betsy Lewin’s pictures compliment the text perfectly with humor and simplicity, and subsequent titles in the series will keep readers reading.

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