Written by Jeanie Franz Ransom and illustrated by Ovi Nedelcu
Two Lions, New York, 2017
“Cowboy Car” is a “Little Engine that Could” sort of story with a funny twist. Little Car dreams of being a cowboy, but everyone tells him, “Cars Can’t Be Cowboys.”
When Little Car gets bigger, he packs his trunk and goes out West. He finds a cowboy hat just his size on the roof of a cowboy shop. Then he finds a ranch and meets a cowboy named Dusty.
At first, Dusty echoes the words Little Car has always heard, “Cars can’t be cowboys,” but then he says it is a shame because they could use an extra hand. Little Car begs, “Let me prove I can do it.” Dusty agrees to give him a try.
In the next few days, Little Car shows how fast he can go, how he can haul things, and use his headlights to help round up li’l doggies in the dark.
But at the rodeo, he is told he cannot participate unless he can ride a horse. Dusty invites him to stay and watch him ride Double Trouble, the biggest, meanest bull.
After Dusty falls off Double Trouble and is about to be gored by the bull, Little Car races onto the field his tires squealing, horn honking, and radio blasting. He drives around and around, and makes the bull collapse from dizziness. He saves dusty and becomes a hero.
A reporter asks Little Car if he is a cowboy at Circle R Ranch, and Dusty says, “He sure is. In fact, he’s my pardner!” Dusty grins from ear to ear.
This is a cute book for children, teaching them to follow their dreams. Nedulcu’s colorful illustrations are energetic and expressive, complementing the story.
About the Author
Jeanie Franz Ransom has written eight other picture books including “Big Red and the Little Bitty Wolf,” illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin, and “There’s a Cat in Our Class,” illustrated by Bryan Langdo. She has three grown sons, and divides her time between homes in O’Fallon, Mo., and Northport, Mich. Learn more about her at www.jeanieransom.com.
About the Illustrator
Ovi Nedelcu is a character designer for animation as well as an author and illustrator. He’s worked on many animated films for such studios as Laika, Disney, DreamWorks, and Sony. In 2015, he wrote and illustrated his first picture book, “Just Like Daddy,” which School Library Journal called delightful. He lives in Portland, Ore., with his wife, children, and an assortment of animals. Learn more about him at www.ovidelcu.com.