Nana Takes the Reins by Kathleen Lane with Cabell Harris

A rollicking adventure your 7- to 10-year-old won’t soon forget is what you’ll find in Nana Takes the Reins by Kathleen Lane with Cabell Harris.

Nana decides she wants to go to the rodeo to become a bull rider. Her grandchildren, Eufala and Bog soon join in Nana’s adventure, and it isn’t long before they have a run in with Tuff and the Ruffies.

I honestly wasn’t sure what to make of this book in the beginning. An old lady for the main character in a kid’s book? It seemed to go against everything I thought a kid’s book should be. Yes, Eufala and Bog play a big role in this book–like I assume they did in the first book of this series, Nana Cracks the Case–but still, how could a kid relate to Nana?

What I soon discovered as I read this book with my girls (ages 7 and 9) is that they aren’t supposed to relate to Nana. She’s just darn hilarious. She’s not your normal grandmother and she does wacky things. Eufala and Bog get to tag along on her adventures, which leads to some funny stuff, and as expected, these siblings fight just like other siblings do. The only average character in the book is the children’s mother, Elaine; though even she’s not totally average because she has this fixation with sour cream.

My daughters and I spent the majority of the time laughing through this book. It’s a great wacky adventure that is enhanced by the zany artwork of Sarah Horne. I can’t imagine reading this story without the illustrations. They’re perfect.

Even the most reluctant reader will get hooked on Nana Takes the Reins.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Chronicle Books
  • ISBN-10:9780811862608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811862608
  • SRP: $14.99

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation of any kind to provide my opinion.

Andy and Spirit Meet the Rodeo Queen by Mary Jean Kelso

Another great installment to the Andy and Spirit series by Mary Jean Kelso!

Andy and Spirit visit the Nevada State Fair where they get in a ride and then watch the day’s events. Andy gets to meet the rodeo queen and learns how to handle a lasso. Despite an unfortunate accident, the rodeo is a fun time for all.

Andy and Spirit Meet the Rodeo Queen is the latest book in Kelso’ popular Andy and Spirit series. What is great about this book is that the main character is a wheelchair bound kid who doesn’t let his handicap stop him. In addition, even the people he meets don’t focus on his wheelchair. They see Andy for Andy.

Kelso creates an excellent picture in this book for what it is like to attend a rodeo. Despite the fact that I’ve never been to one, I feel like I have after reading Andy and Spirit Meet the Rodeo Queen.

The artwork for all the Andy and Spirit books has been drawn by K.C. Snider. I like the pairing of Kelso and Snider, and hope it continues.  When an artist and writer work together on multiple projects it certainly makes a difference in the overall quality of the book and how enjoyable the reading experience is.

At the end of this book, the reader finds information on rodeos and rodeo events. There is also a short list of some popular rodeo websites.

What adventures will Andy and Spirit find next? I guess, I’ll just have to eagerly wait and see.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc 
  • ISBN-10: 1616330317
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616330316
  • SRP:  $10.95

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    The World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale by Sneed B. Collard III

     For a fascinating look into The World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale, pick up a copy of the book by the same title, authored by Sneed B. Collard III. Collard, the author of several titles for children in a variety of ages, brings readers up close to the annual event that celebrates rodeos, ranching, and culture.

    In this book, filled with stunning photographs and tons of trivia about The World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale  and rodeo history, Collard does an excellent job of making the reader feel like she’s there. Thoroughly researched, this account has regional appeal, but will definitely engage readers across the country with its action-filled accounts, interviews with rodeo and ranching professionals, and the thrill of a multi-day event that celebrates the Old West in a modern way.

    Here in Massachusetts, we have the Eastern States Exposition, more commonly referred to as, The Big E. This three-week event includes horse shows, and we are sure to stop by each year to watch these beautiful animals in action. Rarely, however, is the danger level anywhere close to what you’ll find at  The World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale, as depicted in Collard’s book.

    While I have to admit to a high level on interest in the pioneering era and the settling of the Wild West, lovers of horses, rodeos, ranching, and anyone who would like to read about an important part of Montana’s history would enjoy  The World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale by Sneed Collard III. It makes learning about these topics fun for young people, while also engaging adults. Don’t be surprised if your child asks to move to a ranch in the midwest after they read this one.

    I’ll certainly be looking at more of Collard’s work soon.

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Bucking Horse Books; first edition
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984446001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984446001
  • SRP:  $18.00

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