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Seriously, you should totally read this.

Bubba the Cowboy Prince by Helen Ketteman

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Ketteman, H., & Warhola, J. (ill.) (1997). Bubba the cowboy prince: a fractured Texas tale. New York: Scholastic Press. ISBN: 0590255061

Annotation: In this Cinderella retelling, Bubba is the hard working stepson who isn’t given a chance to attend the ball and meet the rich Miz Lurleen until his fairy godcow showed up.

Reaction: This is a really clever retelling of Cinderella, and I really appreciate that Ketteman switched the genders for Cinderella and Prince Charming. I also liked that Miz Lurleen loved Bubba just as much when he was dirty and smelly from hard work as she did when he was dressed up for the the ball.

I really loved the illustrations in this book. Warhola’s paintings physically set Bubba off from his family: he’s golden, straight and muscular where his stepdaddy and stepbrothers are dark, slouched or fat. The animals in the story are really expressive, particularly the horse Bubba is breaking in the beginning and the herd of cows during the lightning strike when the fairy godcow comes down to help him. The humanistic expressions on these animals’ faces are hilarious and really add to the story. I also love that Warhola included the fairy godcow in most of the illustrations.

In addition to his great animal expressions, Warhola excels at depicting the landscapes. His art makes me miss the Arizona desert, the cacti and the summer storms.

This book has several good examples of simile:

  • “Cute as a cow’s ear”
  • “Sorrier than a steer in a stockyard”
  • “Darker than a black bull at midnight”
  • “Lower than a rattlesnake in a gully”
  • Winner 2001 Nebraska Golden Sower Award

    Media Used: Oil on canvas

    Author’s Website

    Illustrator’s Website

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