CowboyBoydMightyCalliopeValuable Lesson Taught with Humor


By Lisa Moser, Illustrated by Sebastiaan Van Doninck
Random House Books for Young Readers, $17.99, 32 pages

Cowboy Boyd and Mighty Calliope is one of the cutest and most inspirational books this reviewer has read. When Cowboy Boyd and Calliope (a rhinoceros) ride up to the Double R ranch, Slim, Hardtack and Rancher Rose are a bit skeptical of Calliope’s merits. Yes, Calliope is slow, short, lumpy and dusty but Cowboy Boyd believes in her. Calliope is given her first chore, and she gets it done but is really slow. On her second chore, Calliope must herd stray cattle but instead herds a prairie dog, a jackrabbit and a coyote. Because Calliope is so friendly, the animals just follow her “like chicks to a hen”. Unfortunately, the ranch hands see no value in Calliope’s unusual skills. Cowboy Boyd tells Rancher Rose that they will leave in the morning. Cowboy Boyd never loses his strong belief in Calliope, though. That night a terrible storm happens and the cattle escape. When Cowboy Boyd offers Calliope’s help in getting the cattle back, he is met with resistance because Calliope is just too slow and clumsy. But Calliope knows just what to do and saves the cattle and the ranch. Cowboy Boyd and Calliope are invited to stay on the ranch, after all, because now everyone believes in Calliope.

Lisa Moser uses humor to teach a valuable lesson. The illustrated pages reinforce the absurdity and are colorful with characters showing true emotions on their descriptive faces. Your child will follow along with the story by reviewing the detailed drawings as you read the imaginative story. Your child will laugh often and frankly so will you.

Reviewed by Seniye Groff

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