This afternoon we took a trip to the grocery store and before we made it to the bakery to get bread we were confronted by a bin of books on sale. K began to sift through them almost unconsciously asking if she could have one. I looked through the bin with her and peered at a few selections. I told her that she could choose a book and we could read it together.
She pawed through them with renewed excitement and a square of yellow caught me eye… I reached in and pulled out a book she’d passed over. The cover read “Cowboy’s Secret Life“, written by Joan Walsh Anglund, published in 1963.
I picked it up and put it in the cart as K continued to look through the other books eventually finding one with characters she recognized telling 4 fairy tale stories. I let her get the book of her choice and kept “Cowboy’s Secret Life” hidden in the cart.
Something about the cover drew me in immediately, and I know I know, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I did… or at least I formed a first impression of it.
That impression proved to be right…
The drawings, which at first appear simple, are deeply layered walking between the reality of a little boy’s life and the life he chooses in his imagination. By just going down stairs, catching a bus, heading to school and continuing through his days he reaches places that most adults have forgotten.
Along with the pictures each page contains simple text that tells the bones of a story, the bones are all that’s needed though as the images fill in the rest.
As K and I sat at the dining table and I listened to her read each sentence I was overwhelmed with love for this little book. We finished the words quickly but lingered over each drawing stopping to point out little details to each other.
It has very suddenly become a favorite in our home… maybe it could be in yours too.