Thursday, May 8, 2014

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch by Anne Isaacs -- ESSENTIAL

Isaacs, Anne Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. PICTURE BOOK. Schwartz & Wade, 2014. $17.99. Content: G

When the widow Tulip Jones inherits thirty-five million dollars and a ranch in Texas, she takes off for her new land at once. Unfortunately, so do a thousand single men, all of whom want to marry this happily-unmarried lady for her fortune. What is Tulip to do? Why, present her would-be husbands with challenges they're sure to fail, of course. But when her impossible tests prove possible after all, and it looks like she might have to marry one of the two most awful men in the entirety of Texas, it's time for Tulip to exercise her creativity -- and her giant racing tortoises.

From the tongue-in-cheek notice advising that exaggeration is forbidden in the state of Texas, to the last image of the speedy turtles out to pasture with saguaro cactus, Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch is pure fun. Because of its length and ironic voice, it will likely work better with older students than with younger ones -- possibly in a unit on tall tales, or simply for entertainment. For those who love a little hyperbole mixed in with their hilarity, though, this one will likely hit the spot.

EL -- ESSENTIAL. Reviewer: Caryn

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