Children and adults alike will marvel at the illustrations of the young cowboy in "The Brave Cowboy" by Joan Walsh Anglund. First published in 1959, this relatively unknown classic is a hidden gem in the world of vintage children's books. The language is accessible and the story is easy to follow and the author's inspiration for the main character came from her son when he was about three-years-old. In many ways the book acts as a precursor to other comics such as Dennis the Menace and any number of Calvin and Hobbes strips.
The Brave Cowboy utilizes his powers of imagination to drum up his own tall-tales of heroic deeds, lived out in the historical fantasy world of the Old West. As the Brave Cowboy's stories play out, he fights indians, rescues damsels in distress and camps out in the desert with his trusty steed. The underlying message in the story is simple, yet profound; some days are better than others, but brave cowboys always hold fast to justice, truth and kindness. The Brave Cowboy holds true to himself and his creative ability to genuinely inhabit his ideal world, even though he may be too big for his boots!
--Kevin K., Thornhill Branch