Monday, June 24, 2013
Cowboy Up! Ride the Navajo Rodeo
by Nancy Bo Flood; photos by Jan Sonnenmair
40 pages; ages 8 - 12
I remember going to small town rodeos when I was a kid - there was that time a bull busted loose and ran through town. There were clowns, barrel races, bronc-riding, calf-roping and lots of jean-clad guys and gals sittin' on fence rails.
In Cowboy Up! Nancy Bo Flood captures the spirit of rodeo from the minute the stockmen's trucks gather to heading home at dusk. Her poems and narrative capture the tempo, flavor - even the dust of small town rodeo.
"Just as many Little League baseball players dream of competing in the World Series, many young Navaho ropers and riders dream of competing in the National Finals Rodeo," she writes. Instead of practicing their pitches, rodeo kids practice spinning their lariats over a pair of horns nailed to a sawhorse.
Accompanied by the announcer - "Ladies and gents, give a big warm welcome to our youngest competitors" - and the action-packed photography of Jan Sonnenmair, the poems and stories show every aspect of the sport of rodeo. Some events are times for speed, others for endurance. Flood tells us the rules of the arena; Sonnenmair shows us the dirt clods flying.
Playing by the Book. Review copy provided by the publisher.