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Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch



by
Anne Isaacs
illustrated by
Kevin Hawkes

Edition
Library edition with trade jacket added
Publisher
Random House
Imprint
Schwartz & Wade
ISBN
9780375967450

Awards and Honors
Amazon.com Best Books of the Year 2014, Ages 6–8
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$6.00   $5.00
SEE MEMBER PRICE
QTY
Out of stock

JLG Category

Easy Reading Plus

Rich widow Tulip Jones has one thousand cowboy suitors she doesn’t want. It will take an outrageous, Texas-sized plan to get rid of them. Full-color illustrations rendered in acrylics and colored pencil.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

56

Dewey

F

AR

5.3: points 0.5

Lexile

970L

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

2

JLG Release

Mar 2014

Book Genres


Topics

Ranch life. Texas. Courtship. Humorous stories. Tall tales. History of Texas, 1865-1950.

Standard MARC Records

Download Standard MARC Records

Cover Art

Download Cover Art

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist, The Horn Book Magazine, The Horn Book Guide^, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
Isaacs excels at writing tall tales, and readers will not be disappointed by her newest yarn. In 1870, the widow Tulip Jones inherits millions of dollars and a ranch, so she moves from England to By-Golly Gully. She quickly learns that everything is bigger in Texas, including her garden vegetables and her beloved pet tortoises. But her blissful peace is disrupted when word gets around about her rich and unmarried status. Hilarity ensues as the widow comes up with a variety of ways to get rid of the 1,000 suitors who line up at her door. Exaggeration is the name of the game from text to illustrations. The story is told in a linear, yet compelling way, and the delightful tongue-twisting narration uses a variety of fun and folksy phrases. Isaacs takes her time, humorously setting the scene through the first few pages, which prepares readers to expect larger-than-life problems and solutions. The characters are exaggerated as well, from the odious suitors to the spunky and independent Window Jones, who takes a proactive approach to solving her problems. Hawkes’s painterly illustrations, rendered with acrylic and pencil, feature vast blue skies, fluffy white clouds, and sun-drenched landscapes that firmly establish the setting. These exaggerated visuals match the humorous tone set by the text. At its best when read aloud, this story will also appeal to elementary school kids who will be inspired to create their own tales with over-the-top characters.—Amy Seto Musser, Denver Public Library

Horn Book

Texas boasts as many tall tales as there are fleas on a hound dog, but listeners will have to venture far afield to find one more engaging than Isaacs’s latest. The newly widowed Tulip Jones inherits thirty-five million dollars and a ranch in By-Golly Gully, Texas. With her twelve pet tortoises and three (lady) ranch hands, she sets up farming. Little does she know that everything grows bigger in Texas, including tortoises, potatoes that “took only seven of them to make a dozen,” and a “single watermelon [that] fed everyone on the ranch for a month.” The colored-pencil and acrylic illustrations in sunbaked Texas tones complement Isaacs’s hyperbole. Tulip changes her demure dress for flattering Western wear, including a rose-topped Stetson, and gallops her now-saddled tortoises across the prairie; the ranch hands climb ladders to saw off huge tomatoes. But a passel of trouble looms. Every single man in Texas, which in 1870 meant every man in Texas, wants her money, and they all descend on the ranch seeking her hand in marriage. The Widow Jones must get rid of these odious gold diggers. She devises three trials for the suitors; meanwhile, the ranch hands, also hoping to distract the men, invite all unmarried women to come get hitched. These two madcap story lines converge, but not before listeners have plenty of opportunities to join in with choruses of “meanwhile” and curses of “Riprocious!” betty carter

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
Isaacs excels at writing tall tales, and readers will not be disappointed by her newest yarn. In 1870, the widow Tulip Jones inherits millions of dollars and a ranch, so she moves from England to By-Golly Gully. She quickly learns that everything is bigger in Texas, including her garden vegetables and her beloved pet tortoises. But her blissful peace is disrupted when word gets around about her rich and unmarried status. Hilarity ensues as the widow comes up with a variety of ways to get rid of the 1,000 suitors who line up at her door. Exaggeration is the name of the game from text to illustrations. The story is told in a linear, yet compelling way, and the delightful tongue-twisting narration uses a variety of fun and folksy phrases. Isaacs takes her time, humorously setting the scene through the first few pages, which prepares readers to expect larger-than-life problems and solutions. The characters are exaggerated as well, from the odious suitors to the spunky and independent Window Jones, who takes a proactive approach to solving her problems. Hawkes’s painterly illustrations, rendered with acrylic and pencil, feature vast blue skies, fluffy white clouds, and sun-drenched landscapes that firmly establish the setting. These exaggerated visuals match the humorous tone set by the text. At its best when read aloud, this story will also appeal to elementary school kids who will be inspired to create their own tales with over-the-top characters.—Amy Seto Musser, Denver Public Library

Horn Book

Texas boasts as many tall tales as there are fleas on a hound dog, but listeners will have to venture far afield to find one more engaging than Isaacs’s latest. The newly widowed Tulip Jones inherits thirty-five million dollars and a ranch in By-Golly Gully, Texas. With her twelve pet tortoises and three (lady) ranch hands, she sets up farming. Little does she know that everything grows bigger in Texas, including tortoises, potatoes that “took only seven of them to make a dozen,” and a “single watermelon [that] fed everyone on the ranch for a month.” The colored-pencil and acrylic illustrations in sunbaked Texas tones complement Isaacs’s hyperbole. Tulip changes her demure dress for flattering Western wear, including a rose-topped Stetson, and gallops her now-saddled tortoises across the prairie; the ranch hands climb ladders to saw off huge tomatoes. But a passel of trouble looms. Every single man in Texas, which in 1870 meant every man in Texas, wants her money, and they all descend on the ranch seeking her hand in marriage. The Widow Jones must get rid of these odious gold diggers. She devises three trials for the suitors; meanwhile, the ranch hands, also hoping to distract the men, invite all unmarried women to come get hitched. These two madcap story lines converge, but not before listeners have plenty of opportunities to join in with choruses of “meanwhile” and curses of “Riprocious!” betty carter

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