HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Author: Kristin Helberg
Illustrator: Chas Fleischman
Publisher: Price Stern Sloan, republished in 1997
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 4 and up
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Helberg, Kristin. Cowboys (published in 1982 by Troubador Press, an imprint of Price Stem Sloan Inc., 390 Murray Hill Pkwy., East Rutherford, NJ, 07073; a member of The Putnam and Grosset Group, New York City, NY). Have you ever thought about wanting to become a cowboy? This 32 page Troubador Color and Story Album will allow children to pull out their crayons or colored pencils and ride off into the colorful world of the Wild Wild West to learn all about cowboys. Various chapters tell of their origin, horses, living quarters, cattle drives, music, even the chuck wagon, and finally the end of their era. There are a few minor references to using tobacco and drinking alcoholic beverages, with one chapter on “The Western Saloon.”
Generally, however, youngsters will thrill to the thundering hoof beats of the great herds and the hard-won heritage of these hardy heroes of the past, including a lot of separating fact from fiction. The last two chapters discuss Buffalo Bill Cody’s “Wild West Show” and the modern cowboy with the rodeo. The fifteen dramatic illustrations by Chas Fleischman which accompany Kristin Helberg’s rousing text are drawn in such a way that those who enjoy coloring can do so. The book would make a great accompaniment to an elementary age student’s homeschool study of the history of the American west.