In two and half years of blogging, I now have eight book reviews posted. I love horses. I love to read. I love to read about horses. It’s all intertwined for me. But none of my reviews are of children’s books. Not having any little ones around, I don’t often read materials for youngsters.
In some ways though, I might do well to take notice. Horse books have the power to introduce children to horses. They can also fan the flames of interest for those already immersed in all-things-horses. Promoting equine literature for children is one way to speak to future generations about the wonder of horses.
So when Rae Rankin contacted me about reviewing her Cowgirl Lessons series, I saw it as a fun opportunity. In addition to being a children’s book author, Rae is an independent marketing and graphic design consultant. She sent me free PDF copies of her books, but I did not receive any other compensation for this review.
Welcome to the Cowgirl Lessons children’s book series. This book series is based on the author’s personal experience raising her equestrian daughter. There are currently four books in the series with a fifth slated for publication in 2023. Titles include:
Show Day: A Cowgirl Lessons Adventure
Cowgirl and The Ghost Horse
Each book’s story is told through a series of short paragraphs using a catchy rhyme rhythm. The stories are energetic and optimistic in their outlook. As a horse-crazy girl, I would have related to the tone of the books. They capture the magic of horses and the anticipation I felt about being around them. J-San, the illustrator for all four books, provides colorful and inviting pictures that capture the essence of each paragraph.
“I pick up my helmet from the floor of the truck,Cowgirl Lessons
Tie my hair in a ponytail, kiss dad for good luck.
I race to the red barn, slide the door open wide,
I can hardly wait to start my weekly horse ride.”
Of the four books in the series, my favorite is Show Day: A Cowgirl Lessons Adventure. It features dressage and western dressage, disciplines I don’t often see emphasized in children’s books.
What is especially noteworthy about the Show Day: A Cowgirl Lessons Adventure is that it taps into the power of generosity as one rider loans her horse to another. It encapsulates the possibility of community in supporting our fellow riders. Riding is often thought of as an individual sport, but the book’s storyline shows it can be about much more. That’s an important message to communicate to young horse fans.
If you would like to purchase a copy of one or more books in the series, visit the author’s website shop. She will send signed copies. Other options are purchasing from Amazon or ordering through your favorite local independent bookstore.
Please note that several books in the series have won book awards:
• Cowgirl Lessons, Best Children’s Book USA, 2019 Equus Film & Arts Festival
• Cowgirl Christmas, Best Children’s Holiday USA, 2019 Equus Film & Arts Festival
• Cowgirl and the Ghost Horse, Best Children’s Short Story, 2020 Equus Film & Arts Festival; Purple Dragonfly 2021
“The day is over, our cowgirl lessons are done,
Goodnight y’all it’s been really great fun.
I’ve hung up my hat, I’m hittin’ the hay,
For tomorrow brings another cowgirl day.”