Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Brave Cowboy: a lot more than a children's book with guns

Phoenix holding the book The Brave Cowboy in Madison Square Park recently

Honestly, even though the little boy wears a two gun holster, I really enjoyed The Brave Cowboy by Joan Walsh Anlund and plan to read it over and over to Phoenix.

The book shares black ink illustrations and in red ink the illustrations represent the boys imagination: The boy sits on a fence with a rope tied to a small bush, but how the boy sees it (shown in red ink) is he is sitting on a horse roping a bull.

The Brave Cowboy is very clever and made me have an inside giggle while reading it to Phoenix, and the creativity in this book reminds me a little of Harold & the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. 

Yes, there are guns in this children's book, perhaps they are toy guns, if that makes a difference, but I personally can't imagine a brave cowboy without a gun, but let's keep in mind this book is about a boy and his cowboy dream, and let's also consider that guns are a part of American history which we can't deny.

My husband is from Texas and the boy and his two holster belt hardly phases him, but I can understand how a children's book with the main character having a two holster belt can be alarming, but the cute and charming story of this little boy with an active mind and an adventurous spirit stands out to me more in the story. It's about how you read it to your baby and what YOU make more important while reading too. The fact that the boy has a gun might be too much for you though, which is understandable in our current state of gun control.

It's up to us not to use guns to kill each other, it's up to us to make the choices we make.

Perhaps the guns themselves could have been a part of the boys imagination but the gun is not the focus of the book, it is something as a parent you will notice, for sure, but you'll be surprised how the boys imagination puts the gun itself in the background during his adventures around his house and town as a sweet helpful  and brave cowboy.  I hope you still consider this book as a fun and memorable read for your child, especially those with kids who are creative and active and always tinkering around and creating fun in their own way.

The Brave Cowboy on

The Brave Cowboy on


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