(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Those who know and love Thomas will guess that the title of her latest is a clue that something is afoot. In this case, it's the word "Brave," because the titular cowboy is anything but. The little cows under his care (clearly the same breed as the goofy bovines of 2011's Is Everyone Ready for Fun?) are ready to hit the hay under the stars. But each time the cowboy starts his lullaby (the sappy and monotonous lyrics of which will have kids and grownups giggling), he mistakes something innocuous for something scary, shouts "Eeeeek!" (instead of "goodnight"), and has to restart the song. But Brave Cowboy isn't the only one to emit an "Eeeeek" that night, proving that sometimes a lullaby is all a cowboy needs to tame a terror. Like Thomas's other stories, this one is ostensibly as uncomplicated as her big, loopy cartooning. But it's actually a little gem of sketch comedy, drawing on a deep understanding of how timing, repetition, and modulation can make a story both fun to read aloud and a guaranteed laugh-getter, time and time again. Ages 3-5. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
In an anything but soothing lullaby, a rather high-strung cowboy tries to strum a pair of little dogies to sleep. He punctuates his somniferous lyrics It's time for little cows to rest their heads. / It's time for little cows to go to bed with a regular Eeeeek! as he mistakes a shadowy flower, a stick, and a harmless shadow for a spider, a snake, and a large, lumbering bear, respectively. In typically elemental cartoon illustrations, Thomas uses loud colors that don't always stay within their outlines, and she places her large figures against plain backgrounds of deep blues and purples. Ultimately another shadow actually does turn out to be a huge wolf, but as wolves also love lullabies, the stage is set for a cozy finish. In this, as in Thomas' other comically manic crowd-pleasers, the only thing wrong is that it's all over so quickly.--Peters, John Copyright 2010 Booklist