Monday, April 29, 2013

Pecos Bill

Title:  Pecos Bill
Author: Steven Kellogg
Illustrator: Steven Kellogg
Publisher:  William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York
Genre:  Tall Tales
Level: Primary
Number of Pages: 38
Pub. Date: 1986

Summary:  Pecos Bill is only a baby when his family leaves New England for the wide, open expanses of the American west. As their train of covered wagons crosses the Pecos River in Texas, baby Bill falls out, and an old coyote saves him from drowning. She adopts him as one of her own, and Bill grows up eating, sleeping, and howling just like his new coyote family.Then one day a drifter comes across Bill napping by a stream and convinces him that he isn't a coyote but a Texan — and as a Texan, he ought to be herding longhorn cattle. Bill makes his name into a legend after he wins a battle with a giant rattlesnake, tames a wild horse he calls Lightning, and teaches every cowboy how to lasso a bull. He then marries Slewfoot Sue after her only requests were that he buy her a dress with a big bustle and let her ride Lightning in the wedding ceremony. When he bustle hit the horse, he shot her right up into the sky. She kept bouncing from Earth and back up into the sky until Pecos Bill was able to lasso a tornado to help him catch her. They ended up
The author, Steven Kellogg
landing on top of his Ma and Pa’s wagon and having one big family reunion. It says his family still lives in Texas to this day.

Critique:  This tall tale features a boy who is seemingly a common person, but has exaggerated character traits that allow him to accomplish unbelievable tasks. Pecos bill seems like a normal kid, except for the fact that he was partially raised by coyotes of course. He is able to squeeze all of the venom out of a snake and use him to lasso a wild bull. He is also able to defeat a creature that was part grizzly, part puma and part tarantula. Pecos Bill tamed the wild horse lightning and even lassoed a tornado to rescue his wife.

Response: I made a text to self connection when it talked about Pecos Bill taming the wild mustang. The text that said, “Finally he cornered the stallion and jumped onto his back. Lightning exploded from the canyon, leaping and bucking across three states,” really made me laugh.  When I was training my mustang I definitely didn’t get bucked across three states, but there was one time that definitely felt like I had the next morning! 

Video of Steven Kellogg talking about Tall Tales:

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