PB 14:14 – Day 14 – Rhyme – PLUS…PPBF – Cowpoke

Woot! Woot!

And how about a Hip Hip Hooray!

It’s Day 14 of Christie Wild’s PB 14:14 Challenge. http://christiewrightwild.blogspot.com/2015/02/day-14-how-big-is-million-patterns.html

 And, it’s also Perfect Picture Book Friday. http://susannahill.blogspot.com/2015/02/perfect-picture-book-friday-finding.html

Life can’t get much better!

I’ve been trying to polish a particular picture book manuscript…it’s about a boy who wants to be a cowboy…and it’s in rhyme. Complicated rhyme. Which is hard to do. I’m so reluctant to change it up – into prose or free verse – because, as you know if you are a writer, it’s difficult to ‘kill our darlings’… that is, get rid of something we love or have gotten attached to.

And then I found this book in a library discard pile – a totally fun romp of simple rhyme and active verbs and awesome illustrations – all about a little cowpoke who joins a cattle drive.

So I will be rethinking my own manuscript – and offering this charming picture book as an example of the top ten element of rhyme.


Title: Cowpokes

Author: Caroline Stutson

Illustrator: Daniel San Souci

Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books

Date: 1999

Top Ten Element: Rhyme

Theme: Cowboys

Age Level: 3+

Opening Lines:

“Painted mountains at daybreak.

Rising slowly, cowpokes wake.

Boots and vests and leather chaps.

Bright bandannas. Cowpoke hats.”



From Amazon: “They don their boots and hats and chaps, down their flapjacks, then it’s up into the saddle and off they go. through the chaparral and sage on their ponies, roping strays.
Young children will be enchanted with this charming good-night book, filled with wonderfully endearing cowboys, busy from dawn to dusk.”

Why I like this book:

  • Rollicking rhyme that is fun to read aloud
  • Wonderful illustrations that are full of action
  • Very few words – but each one counts!
  • Multi-cultural and intergenerational characters

How parents can use this book:

  • Fun bedtime story
  • Great read-aloud
  • Play with rhymes – have your child finish each sentence with a different rhyming word

Related Activities


hatsPhoto courtesy: http://www.firstpalette.com

For detailed instructions of the cowboy hat or any other hats pictured, please go to: http://www.firstpalette.com/Craft_themes/Wearables/easypaperhat/easypaperhat.html

And here’s a YouTube video on making a cowboy hat:

Moms and Dads, Teachers, Librarians and Fellow-writers: Don’t forget to hop over to Susanna’s Perfect Picture Book Friday: http://susannahill.blogspot.com/2015/02/perfect-picture-book-friday-finding.html

and also to Christie Wild’s PB 14:14 Challenge: http://christiewrightwild.blogspot.com/2015/02/day-14-how-big-is-million-patterns.html

. Lots of great picture book stuff in the air.

The ReFoReMo Challenge officially starts on March 1st…but Carrie Charley Brown is offering some pre-challenge blog posts that won’t disappoint – did I mention a plot tool that will help you construct your picture book manuscripts? http://www.carriecharleybrown.com/reforemo/prereforemo-day-1-carrie-charley-brown-lays-the-foundation

As Roy Rogers and Dale Evans used to sing, “Happy Trails to you, until we meet again.”

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (Pomegranate Press, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE MOVE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my 9-year old grandson.

Posted on February 27, 2015, in Christie Wild's PB 14:14, crafting, Susanna Hill's Perfect Picture Book Friday, Top Ten Elements in Picture Books and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. Great review and example of rhyme! Love cowboy books, and this one is now on my find and read list. Thanks Vivian for your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish I could write rhyme, because I love to read it. Too bad this one ended up in the discards!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can imagine a classroom of children listening to Cowpokes while wearing their cowboy hats.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, Manju…wouldn’t that be a sweet sight…I remember back in the 50’s, the western theme was very popular with kids…Davy Crockett and Roy Rogers and the like…every kid wanted to have a cowboy/cowgirl hat and a holster…I don’t know that the western theme is that popular any more…and there would certainly be no holsters allowed in schools. 😦


  4. Sounds like quite the serendipitous find!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Last summer I went to a local community ‘yard’ sale…and one person had a box of discarded library books…hardcovers with wonderful library bindings and plasticized covers, for 25 cents a piece. Most of them were multicultural titles…I bought a huge stack and this was one of them. 🙂


  5. Cowboys are so much fun for kids. This sounds like a great find for you. I love all the additional ideas you provide for how to use this story!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Joyce! Every Friday I participate with picture book author Susanna Leonard and a bunch of other picture book lovers…we post a picture book review with activities or resources…and link up on Susanna’s blog…I’ve been doing it for a couple of years and it’s great fun!


  6. Cowboys never grow old, right?! The rhyme sounds spot on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just read it to my grandson and he loved it. I was so impressed…you know how many picture book authors/illustrators put a character on every page who is not really part of the story? Well, Jeremy immediately pointed out a prairie dog and said, ‘That guy is on every page’…and he was right. 😉 The rhyme is fun, Joanna…it inspires me to go back and revise my cowboy story. 😉


  7. I love how you combined the last day of PB14:14 with Perfect Picture Book Friday. The activities you listed are a great combo for this book which seems like a fun rhyming book for boys (and girls). Often when I read a picture book I immediately think of ways expand on it with discussion, crafts, mini fact quizes, songs, etc. It’s been so long since I’ve been in the classroom, but I guess once a teacher, always a teacher.

    Keep working on your book, because I know first hand that you are an awesome writer.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kids will always love a cowboy story. This one sounds wonderful. Great activities!


    • The illustrations are fantastic, Pat…and my grandson thinks one in particular is hilarious…a cowboy wearing the old pjs with the flap in the back…and in one pic, the flap is…down. 😉 😉 😉
      Aren’t those hats adorable…I want to make one of each. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sounds like my kind of book! I love rhyming, I love cowboys/cowgirls, and I love horses!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve found some real gems in the library discard pile and library books sales. Cowpokes looks like a lot of fun! Good luck editing your manuscript!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love your cowboy story! I love the one you wrote about too, but did you notice there are some near rhymes? So rules are meant to be broken, aren’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This book looks like such fun, Vivian! I’m always glad to add a cowboy book to our list because who doesn’t love those?! Good luck with yours!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I am actually pleased to glance at this website posts which contains lots
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