*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Set in the West of bygone years, the Big Sky Boys live and work together on the Spinnin’ Spur ranch along with the ranch cook and Rooster’s pet armadillo, Albert. They work the hard life of cowboys, but there’s always a way to have a little fun while working! From bronc busting to birthday parties to making music, you never can tell what will happen. And even though there’s plenty of teasing that goes on, in the end they are the best of partners.
Anyone who has enjoyed books like Richmal Crompton’s Just William series or anything by Enid Blyton will love this collection of cowboy-themed short stories, aimed at middle grade readers upwards.
Todd Linder paints a picture of a simpler, more old-fashioned life, where ‘the boys’ – Peewee, Montana and Rooster – play pranks on each other and get into scrapes, and token adult, Cookie, plays straight man to their antics, making sure they stay reasonably in line.
The stories are written in Western US vernacular, immersing the reader fully in the ranch experience… you can practically feel the heat and dust, and smell the mixture of horse, cattle and Cookie’s fry-ups.
My only gripe is that this is a small selection of stories and ends quite abruptly. I could take plenty more of these sweet, wholesome little anecdotes, full of gentle humour and camaraderie! Ideal for young readers looking for some good, clean, cowboy fun, and older readers will enjoy the stories too.
Out in the West, where there used to be more cows than people, there were ranches both big and small. One of those ranches was the Spinnin’ Spur Ranch. It was kind of a small spread with a cook called Cookie, three ranch hands, a few broken-down nags, a cow dog, some chickens, and, of course, cows. Now, in those parts you didn’t ask a new hand where he came from or much about his past. Most of the time the name he gave you was just a nickname like Peewee, Montana or Rooster. Now, if you thought Peewee was a small cowboy, you’d be wrong. He was a mighty tall and sturdy young cowboy. Montana was a tall, lean drink o’ water, and Rooster was about as big as a banty rooster.Todd Linder, The Big Sky Boys and Life on the Spinnin’ Spur