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Picture Book Thursday: Buster Goes to Cowboy Camp

Buster_2 Buster Goes to Cowboy Camp
Written and illustrated by Denise Fleming
Henry Holt and Co.
Age Range 3-9 years

Hey folks.  It’s another edition of Picture Book Thursday and what better way to celebrate the end of summer than with a book about camp?  And yes, you guessed it, Buster the dog is back and ready to rustle up some fun.

Author and illustrator Denise Fleming has written a fun sequel to Buster, one that finds him full of reservations as he is sent to cowboy camp.  Despite missing his owner Brown Shoes, and kitten pal Betty, Buster comes into his own, overcoming his shy nature and making friends.  By the end of the book, Buster has bought into cowpoke living, chowing down on bacon and beans, helping to build campfires and looking forward to digging for gold.

The degree of emotion Denise Fleming is able to evoke from poured pulp illustrations always amazes me.  Whether it’s Buster curling up to go to sleep or his forlorn expression as he’s being taken to camp, I can’t help but think of my dog and their shared quirks.  I think children will easily make connections Buster and their pets as well.

Observant readers will notice the endpapers are illustrated with the bandana that Buster wears at camp.  Provide students with paper and paint so they can create their own bandana design.  Run the “bandanas” through the laminator to create colorful placemats.

If bandanas aren’t your thing, provide students with twine, glue and card stock.  Have them create name tags for their desks, based on the lasso rope “Buster” on the cover of the book.

For paper doll fun, check out these publisher links:
Buster Paper Doll (PDF)
Buster Paper Doll Cowboy Clothes (PDF)


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