Sauer, Tammi, illus. by Mike Reed. Cowboy Camp. Union Square Books, 2014 (reprint edition). ISBN 978-1454913603 32 pp. $8.95
A cowpoke named Avery doesn’t fit in at cowboy camp. The clothes don’t fit, he doens’t like the food, he’s allergic to horses, and he can’t make a lasso. Thankfully, when Black Bart comes lurking, Avery’s non-cowboy ways dissuade the villian and save the day – earning him rank as a real honest to goodness cowboy.
The cast is illustated with a multicultural band of kids, and the language has an irresistable drawl to it. The people and animals have a caricature feel that makes them cute and not at all intimidating while infusing them with personality and style.
The story is very straightforward, but affirming for kids of all abilities. The final page feels abrupt. Better editing might have resulted in a stronger feeling of closure. Purchase where cowboy stories are popular.