Book review: Cowpoke Clyde Rides the Range, by Lori Mortensen, illustrated by Michael Allen Austin

Mortensen, Lori. Cowpoke Clyde Rides the Range. Illustrated by Michael Allen Austin. Clarion Books, 2016. $16.99. ISBN 9780544370302. Unpaged. Ages 4-7. P7Q8

Cowpoke Clyde buys a new-fangled bicycle out of a catalog so he can see what the fuss is all about. Along with Dawg, he wobbles around the prairie causing chaos and fear among the local animals. At first it doesn’t go so well, but Clyde persists and eventually decides that he likes his bike. The story is told in rhyming, humorous language that pulls the reader along at a good pace. The digital illustrations have a lot of humor in them and will appeal to most kids.

VERDICT: Children who have learned to ride a bike, or are at that age will like this story and its message that if you keep practicing, you can get good at things that are hard.

March 2019 review by Carol Schramm.

Book review: Seven Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want to Survive the Cafeteria, by John Grandits, illustrated by Michael Allen Austin

Grandits, John. Seven Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want to Survive the Cafeteria. illus. Michael Allen Austin. Clarion Books, 2017. 32 pgs. $16.99. ISBN: 978-0-544-69951-9. Gr. 1+. P8 Q8

Kyle’s mother did not have time to fix his lunch before the bus arrives. Ginny, sits close to Kyle and tries to give him the dos and don’ts of school life. When she finds out about his lunch she gasps  and tells him seven rules about how to conduct yourself in the cafeteria. Kyle breaks every rule and when he sees Ginny later on the bus he tells her about rule number 8. Rule 8: never ever listen to Ginny’s rules. Instead, enjoy your lunch. Cafeteria food is very good. The illustrations are hilarious as Kyle breaks every one of Ginny’s rules for conduct in the cafeteria. Kyle survives and eats his lunch.

Verdict: I would read this book aloud to students who are going to eating in the cafeteria. It was so much fun to read.  I know younger students will enjoy it too.

July 2018 review by Carol Bernardi.