Wash-Out in the OK Corral: Cowpoke Clyde and Dirty Dawg by Lori Mortensen
Cowpoke Clyde has it all under control. Cowboy bean soup is simmering on the stove, the cabin is clean as a hound's tooth, and even the horseflies have been shown the door. But just as soon as he rares back to put his boots up, he realizes that he's short one chore:
THEN RIGHT BEHIND HIS COOKIN' POT,YEE-HAW! Time to get back on the job and wash that dang dog.
HE SPIED ONE THING HE'D PLUMB FORGOT:
OL' DAWG, HIS FAITHFUL, SNORIN' FRIEND,
ALL CAKED WITH MUD FROM END TO END.
But like making rabbit stew, first you got to catch the critter!
Dawg is no dope, and when he sees the bathtub gettin' filled, he's outa there, knockin' the beans off the stove, runnin' right through the chicken coop, and soon fur and feathers and fleas are all a-flyin'. Clyde swings his lasso and hooks--a hog!
SOON CHICKENS, FLEAS, AND ONE FAT HOGWERE GETTING SOAKED INSTEAD OF DAWG.
But Cowpoke Clyde is no quitter. He tries coaxing Dawg into the tub with a handful of jerky and a big bone. Dawg demurs, but Clyde's bait attracts ...CATS! He tries tricking Dawg into the wagon for a ride, but the mule gets spooked, the broke harness comes unhitched, and Clyde lands in the muddy suds with all the critters--chickens, cats, hog, mule, and of course, the horseflies.
Cowpoke Clyde's once-spiffy spread is a mess. All the critters are roamin' in the gloamin' as the sun goes down, and... Dawg is still dirty. Clyde eyes his tin bathtub and decides that he's the one who needs the suds worse'n anybody!
Lori Mortenson's latest, sudsy saga Cowpoke Clyde and Dirty Dawg (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013) is a jolly rhyming romp of cowpoke couplets which leaves a soakin' Clyde croonin' to the moon and Dawg deciding at last to join him for a nocturnal howl in the suds. Michael Allen Austin's vivid comic illustrations rise mightily to this quirky washout, with ample artistic perspective play which has a horrified hog in full-face flight page right, and a crazed cat poking into the frame from the lower right-hand page corner, as the rest of the felines spill the buckets of bath water which flow over the frame, page left. Even a rubber ducky gets into the critter crowd scene in this frisky frolic forthcoming in mid-May. More fun than a bathtub full of monkeys!