Karas, G. Brian. Home on the Bayou. Illlustrated by G. Brian Karas. Simon & Schuster, 1996. ISBN 0-689-80156-4. $15.00. 32 pp. *K-3 PB Reviewed by Gabi Kupitz Ned, an elementary-school-age cowboy, is visibly and verbally upset when his single-parent Mom moves them from the West, where real cowboys live, to the swamp where his aging grandpa lives. To add to the stress in his life, Ned's prized lasso doesn't survive the move--his mom used it to tie down the luggage on top of the car. In frustration, the lasso-less cowboy yells at his mother. Substituting his grandpa's garden hose for the defunct lasso inspires sneers and jeers from the school bully on Ned's first day at his new school. On the third day of school, when the bully makes off with the substitute lasso and begins to twirl it in a reckless manner, Ned the cowboy springs into action. He connects the end of the hose to the faucet and turns on the water. Not only is the bully swiftly dispatched, but Ned becomes a hero in the eyes of his classmates. And, as any proper cowboy would do, Ned apologizes to his mother. The text accompanies sparse and muted paintings, which perfectly depict Ned's heartache at moving and his twin triumph over the bully and his own feelings. So much story in a picture book!
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