'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 28 June 2024

Review: The Real Cowgirl

Farmer and writer, Isobelle Duff’s first book Cookie, proved how well she writes about emotions.

In The Real Cowgirl, Duff's second collaboration with Susannah Crispe, she addresses emotional unrest, anxiety, and lack of self-confidence.

The horse is the narrator.

Her horse knows Sal better than anyone. He sees a side of her that others can’t; a clever, kind, daring, wild, fearless, and child like the cowgirl she wants to become.

They share such things as riding as if to catch the wind, and Sal doing hand stands in the horse paddock as other horses look on. 

The horse knows how strong a bond of friendship they have, and this makes them bigger together than when they are they apart.

It’s at school that Sal is timid, withdrawn, and almost invisible. She’s afraid to share or show her wonderful nature and abilities to anybody else.
Only her horse knows how strong she is. And how brave.

Can she become as brave at school as she is when out riding with her friend?

Is there a way for her to share with others, the qualities she has and perhaps inspire them, by showing her real self?

This is a powerful, motivating book for young children who find it difficult to make friends due to nervousness or lack of self-confidence.

Many children will see themselves in Sal and recognise that friends just like them, are waiting to be discovered.

Stunning vivid images race across the pages beside soft hues, in full-page illustrations.

Inspiring and encouraging, this is a beautiful example of overcoming uncertainty and anxiety, and the importance of friendship - between humans, and humans and animals.

Title: The Real Cowgirl
Author: Isabelle Duff
Illustrator: Sussanah Crispe
Publisher: EK Books, $24.99
Publication Date: 11 June 2024
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781922539687
For ages: 5+
Type: Picture Book