“Do you want me to read you this new book I got?” I asked my boys over the weekend. “Yes!” was the resounding answer from the two.
My boys love to be read to. The youngest will bring a book to me and park himself on my lap. He won’t leave until the story is done. The oldest gets upset if he doesn’t get his nightly bedtime story. Therefore, we try to read at least one book a day.
I’ve found that kids’ books about rodeo are few and far between. And those that tell an authentic story are even harder to find. My search on Amazon only netted 400 items, many of which didn’t fit what I was looking for.
Opening “Short Go Makes the NFR” immediately gives the impression that the mother/daughter team of Lindsay Keller and Marilyn Domer know what they are talking about. Keller is the book’s author; Domer created the illustrations.
In the story, Elise, Max and Short Go the horse all played National Finals Rodeo one day. Elise and Max take turns doing rodeo events at the NFR. From steer wrestling to team roping, calf roping and barrel racing, each event gives Max and Elise a role to play. Short Go was having fun too and loved “playing” NFR.
After their day of playing NFR, Short Go gets the call to head to the real National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas to carry one special cowgirl, Miss Rodeo America. Short Go’s family gets to cheer him on every night during the NFR performances.
My boys enjoyed the book and questioned about why Elise and Max didn’t have real calves and steers to practice with. My answer? “They’re just pretending. They’re just kids.” My oldest asked, “Well, then why did she have barrels?” The barrels were probably set up in their arena, I answered.
I’m glad the book gave realistic representations of the actual events at the NFR—team roping, tie-down roping and barrel racing; as well as the importance of Miss Rodeo America and how she represents the sport of rodeo. More kids need authenticity in their lives, even if it is a story book.
For my family, you know it’s a good book when it makes it into the car to be “read” on the way to town.