Reviews for Cattle Kids : A Year on the Western Range

Kirkus Reviews 2007 August #1
This visit to several beef-cattle ranches depicts children hard at work running machinery, helping the grown-up cowhands and, in one memorable photo, even assisting at a bovine birth. Urbigkit doesn't go into much detail about the fate of the animals she photographs so appealingly, and her writing is sometimes awkward ("So ranchers gather their herds, usually by horseback, but others use dirt bikes"). However, readers will come away knowing the differences between calves, heifers, cows, bulls and steers, as well as having a general picture of the annual rhythms of cattle raising. A serviceable complement to the many titles available on dairy farming. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Library Media Connection - November/December 2007
In this photographic essay readers are introduced to children who work on their family cattle ranches. The text explains the hard work that is needed to keep a cattle ranch functioning. Clear, color photographs and the accompanying, easily understood text explain the different types of cattle ranches as well as the animals found on them. The author makes a point of showing girls as well as boys involved in the operations. Many urban readers will find the lives and responsibilities of these young people are very different from their own. The book may be better suited for public libraries rather than school libraries with limited budgets. Additional Selection. Charlotte Decker, Librarian, Children's Learning Center, Public Library of Cincinnati (Ohio) and Hamilton County © 2007 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

School Library Journal Reviews 2007 September

Gr 1-4-- This glossy pictorial essay attempts to show how children fit into life on a modern cattle ranch. Unfortunately, the book has little substance and readers are often left wondering who these "Cattle Kids" are and exactly what they do. Urbigkit describes the various tasks that take place during a typical year, such as birthing, branding, and grazing. Descriptions of these tasks are limited, however, and sentences are often vague and even trite. "The work can be hard, but it's never boring and usually it's a lot of fun." Even more frustrating is the fact that some of the photos are used several times. Cattle Kids has no page numbers, no index, and no glossary to define difficult words such as "castration" or "lariat." Its only use is as a cursory introduction to Western ranching. For a much more interesting and informative account of work with cattle from a child's perspective, suggest Judy Wolfman's Life on a Cattle Farm (Carolrhoda, 2001) instead.--Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library

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