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Pecos Bill: The Greatest Cowboy of All Time [Hardcover]

By James Cloyd Bowman & Laura Bannon (Illustrator)
Our Price $ 18.15  
Retail Value $ 19.95  
You Save $ 1.80  
Item Number 426257  
Buy New $18.15

Item Specifications...

Pages   254
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.6" Width: 5.7" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   0.95 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 17, 2007
Publisher   NYR Children's Collection
Age  9-12
ISBN  1590172248  
EAN  9781590172247  


Availability  2 units.
Availability accurate as of Mar 23, 2017 04:31.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Item Description...
Overview
Relates some of the legends of Pecos Bill, from the moment he bounced out of his family's covered wagon to the day his long-lost brother appears and explains that Bill is not like the coyotes that have raised him.

Publishers Description
“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.
"Pecos Bill tells the thoroughly American saga of 'the greatest cowboy of all time.' A fun medley of Wild West lore...these tall tales will have great appeal to those cowboy-lovers..." --The San Francisco Chronicle

"The best collection of Bill tales is Pecos Bill: The Greatest Cowboy of All Time by James Cloyd Bowman. It was published in 1937 and was a Newbery Honor Book that year. It has been out of print for a long time, but now the New York Review Children's Collection has published a gorgeous new hardcover edition that includes Laura Bannon's delightful illustrations, many in color. And for only $18.95. A bargain." --Dallas Morning News

"Youngsters can get reacquainted with James Cloyd Bowman's 1938 Newbery Honor book Pecos Bill: The Greatest Cowboy of All Time, illus. by Laura Bannon, which had been out of print since 1970. Now a new generation can cheer for Pecos Bill, an original American hero." --Publishers Weekly

"Pecos Bill is a prime favorite among our American folkheroes. Children enjoy the fantastic invention, the riproaring extravagance of the yarns about the greatest of all cowboys, for such tale-spinning is a basic part of American humor."--The New York Times

"Children are vastly amused by our American tall tales. 'Paul Buyan'...'Pecos Bill'...'The Jack Tales'...are as indigenous to the United States as popcorn, and too funny for children to miss."--Christian Science Monitor
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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More About James Cloyd Bowman & Laura Bannon

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! 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.

James Cloyd Bowman was born in 1880 and died in 1961.

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
An apocraphyl American legend  Oct 18, 2007
The American legend of Pecos Bill was supposedly handed down by early settlers of the Southwest, however more recent research has shown this is probably apocryphal. The stories were largely invented as "fakelore" by Edward O'Reilly in 1923 for The Century Magazine, soon after collected in the book "Saga of Pecos Bill". Later writers then borrowed or expanded on O'Reilly's stories.

Although O'Reilly created the legend, probably the most well known and best written collection of Pecos Bill stories is by James Cloyd Bowman, who won the Newbery Honor for "Pecos Bill: The Greatest Cowboy of All Time" (1937). In the 1937 Preface, Bowman does not discuss his sources, except to say "This is a volume of genuine American folklore", and that he collected from "original documents left by the early adventurers into the open range country." This sounds suspicious today, and it is unfortunate the publishers of this 2007 re-print did not include an updated literary history Introduction that examines Bowman's sources in more detail. It now gives the appearance of a buried literary crime waiting to be uncovered.

Still, this is a beautifully written and re-produced book with original illustrations by Laura Bannon. It is exactly the children's book my parents would have read and fits perfectly with the 1940s and 50s image of the American cowboy hero, or something out of the movie A Christmas Story. I was first introduced to Bowman's work in a non-fiction biography of Robert Louis Stevenson and was impressed by his down to earth, easy to read and factual prose and thus sought out more. He's not that well know today, in particular for his literary criticism, but considering his generation (born 1880) his writing is unpretentious and modern yet gentle and easy to read.

As for Pecos Bill himself, readers of Kiplings The Jungle Books will recognize the story of the orphaned human baby raised by wolves, mastering the natural world around him, then returning to his human folk to do the same. Many of the stories describe the origins of various cowboy related things: the roundup, branding, roping, the rodeo, etc.. along the way you learn about cowboy life and culture.

One thing to note, although this is an illustrated children's book it is still a lot of text, about 20 chapters it took me about 4-5 hours to read, it is more in the young adult category, some of the vocabulary is fairly advanced and specialized.
 

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