Pecos Bill: The Greatest Cowboy of All Time

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New York Review of Books, 2007 - Juvenile Fiction - 254 pages
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“Pecos Bill had the strangest and most exciting experience any boy ever had. He became a member of a pack of wild Coyotes, and until he was a grown man, believed that his name was Cropear, and that he was a full-blooded Coyote. Later he discovered that he was a human being and very shortly thereafter became the greatest cowboy of all time. This is how it all came about.”

A Newbery Honor book in 1938, James Bowman’s PECOS BILL is the perfect introduction to a great American comic hero and to the delights of the American tall tale. Jolted off the back of his westward-bound pioneer family’s covered wagon, four-year-old Bill is left in the dust by his eighteen wawling and brawling siblings and never-suspecting mom and dad. Raised by coyotes as one of their own, Bill retains a natural innocence while developing a host of supernatural powers. When he finds out that he is a man, not a coyote, and returns to confront the often inhuman human world, those powers will come in handy. Bill never uses them maliciously, always for good, or simply to amaze and amuse.
James Bowman was a fine folklorist and an outstanding storyteller and he relates Pecos Bill’s wild deeds in a plainspoken voice that highlights their wonderful swagger and charm. With lively color and black-and-white illustrations by Laura Bannon, Bowman’s PECOS BILL remakes bedrock American myth into a novel full of high adventure, outrageous fantasy, laughter, and sheer fun.

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About the author (2007)

James Cloyd Bowman (1880—1961) was born in Ohio. After completing his graduate studies at Harvard, he taught English at Iowa State College and later became the head of the English department at Northern State Teacher's College in Michigan. He wrote many award-winning books for children, including The Adventures of Paul Bunyan.

Laura Bannon (1895—1963) was born in Michigan. She attended the Art Institute of Chicago, where she later taught in the children's art program. She wrote and illustrated over thirty books and won the Children's Reading Round Table award for her contribution to children's literature.

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