The Dirty Cowboy
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The Dirty Cowboy

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  205 ratings  ·  70 reviews
This ol’ boy needs a bath!

After he finds a tumbleweed in his chaps and the numerous bugs buzzing around him affect his hearing, the cowboy decides it’s time to head to the river. Once there, he peels off all his clothes and tells his trusty old dog to guard them against strangers. He takes a refreshing bath and emerges clean as corn – but so fresh-smelling that his dog doe...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 8th 2003 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Margaret
4/3/13 ** I requested this book from the library because I'd seen it on a "most challenged" list. Apparently, some have trouble with the nudity - of course, the premise is that the cowboy can't get his clothes back from his dog after he took a bath. The illustrations are very clever, with key body parts covered by the dog's tail, ears, dust whirlwinds, etc.

What really drew me to the book though is the prose. Amy Timberlake must have worked many hours on choosing just the right words. This would...more
Kwoomac
Apparently, some mother tried to get this book banned because the dirty cowboy gets naked to take a bath. At no time can you see anything ban-inducing. The cowboy is always covered up by a judiciously placed bunny, frog, dog's tail or other item. I think kids will get a kick out of this slightly naughty book without being exposed to any of the naughty bits. Only two stars because the illustrations just didn't do it for me. I want my cowboys to look like Clint Eastwood, not Howdy Doody.
Lioness
Aug 18, 2008 Lioness added it
Shelves: children-s
This is a clever idea perfectly married to excellent illustrations. Half the fun is seeing how Adam Rex, the artist, hides various bits of the cowboy's anatomy, first as he goes for a bath, and later as he wrestles his dog for his clothes. It's a hoot.
Beth
Originally reviewed here

When bugs start setting up camp in and around his body, a cowboy hitches up his horse and rides down to the river with his dog who is instructed to watch the cowboy's clothes while he bathes. But problems arise when the dog, no longer finding his owner's scent familiar, doesn't allow the cowboy his clothes back.

The writing is full of humor and lush sensory details and the illustrations are hilarious, beautiful, and endearing at the same time.

Which is why it angers me so...more
Amy
I liked this book; I thought it was cute, and funny, and clever. The target audience, however, did not. My niece couldn't figure out why a person would fail to bathe in a year's time, and my nephew was bored and just whined through the whole book. I really expected the kids to at least giggle, but that just never happened.

The pictures in this one were nicely done--I especially enjoyed the colors and found it very evocative of the Southwest. *I* think this is more than a two-star book, but when...more
Josiah
A cowboy alone out on the range, chasing down renegade longhorn cattle every day on his trusty mount, can get mighty dirty. Especially when he has no wife or family to regularly clean himself up for, operating in a solitary way on the wide open frontier, having only a dog to keep him company. What dog cares if its master has an odious odor? But one day, the cowboy in this story decides it's high time he made the long trip to the river to give himself a good scrubbing. The flies buzzing noisily...more
Elizabeth
I LOVE Adam Rex Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich. His illustrations are perfect for this fun story about a cowboy I can completely identify with.
Matthew
I really liked this mostly because it was so well illustrated. I loved the expressiveness of the characters and the story was silly fun like the old Steven Kellogg tall tales. I really liked this all the way through.
Eloise
A very funny book about a cowboy who takes a much-needed bath and instructs his dog not to allow anyone, under any circumstances, to take his clothes. The illustrations are delightfully naughty.
Kate Hannigan
One of my kids' all-time favorites. Great story about a cowboy and his dog and the annual ritual of bathing. Hilarious illustrations add to the fun. But Timberlake's story is a hoot!
Stephanie Smoot
I used this book in a text set about cowboys. A cute story about how a cowboy’s dog becomes confused after the cowboy takes his yearly bath.
Zack
A bit long for storytime or real young ones, but still plenty of read aloud fun here and wonderful illustrations.
Amy Adams
This was a fun tall tale. With a stinky, dirty, smelly, grubby, dingy cowboy and a loyal, protective, vigilant but blind dog, you've got a combination for one very funny book. This book has been challenged/banned because of its depiction of near-nudity, but I think it's tastefully and humorously done. There are lots of fun words and great sounds. The text interacts with the illustrations, making the whole book something you just want to keep looking at. The details in the illustrations are great...more
Joe Gardner
cute story about taking a bath, interesting illlustrations hiding the naked cowboy.
Marianne
Just funny and the illustrations are perfect for this tale.
Mary
Fun, and great, funny illustrations!
Melissa W
Originally reviewed at Jayne's Books.

I read this book due to some news that this book had been removed from district's two elementary schools in The Annville-Cleona School District in Pennsylvania. And honestly, I didn't see anything wrong with it. Since its a children's book, everything that needs to be covered up is covered up. While it didn't blow my mind away, it was a wonderful story about a cowboy who got dirty and when he noticed his own stench, he decided to take a bath.

Honestly, I don't...more
Rachel
This was another book I picked up because I love Adam Rex's illustrations. Thankfully the story and illustrations in this book were awesome. It is so much fun to do in a southern accent (not saying all cowboys are from the South, but it works in this case). The book is about a cowboy that lives on his own with a horse and dog (really a wolf). He decides one day to take a bath. It's the detailed drawing that kill me in the book, from the "cowboy's hair housing thirty-two fleas and a small gray sp...more
Claudia
Funny, clever...laugh-out-loud. A perfect blend of picture and words. Both enhance the other. On the surface, a cowboy takes his annual bath in the river and has to wrestle his dog for his clothes. But, under the surface is some tasty writing ("A flurry of flies flocked round his body buzzing so persistently that he experienced a distinct loss of hearing in his left ear...where was that sweaty, wild-boar-like smell that clung to the cowboy like a second pair of clothes...if a cowboy didn't smell...more
Kaethe
Challenged as "pornographic": a word the challengers apparently don't know the meaning of. Although the cowboy is nude for most of the story, Rex has artfully and amusingly managed to hide his genitalia and even his butt crack in every picture. There may have been man nipples, though. I'm not sure.

***

There's a cowboy in New Mexico who sets out to take his annual bath in the river. Trouble ensues, comically. The text seems slightly off: it's got a good voice to the tale, but it seems to broken up...more
Barb Middleton
Howdy folks. If cowboy lingo is your specialty then have fun with thisin' here book. If it sours your milk then you might wanna skip it, but be warned of the illustrations! Luckily I flipped through the pages before reading this to first graders because they would not be able to handle the pictures (or I would not be able to handle them - depends how you look at it) as a read aloud. Basically the cowboy takes a bath and the dog he asks to guard his clothes won't give them back after he's clean....more
Sonic
This was a fun and well-illustrated children's book.
I felt encouraged to read it and curious about it when I read somewhere that this book was BANNED in certain places here in America (Pennsylvania?)

WTF??? Is WRONG with people???

Seriously the whole Christian SHAME for one's naked body thing is completely WHACK!

If SHAME of your own body is one of the values that you take away from Christianity then you are letting the Wrong people interpret it for you!

(Here I am revealing my Own biases and assump...more
Bradley
You'll see that I rarely read children's books. I don't have any children of my own so there's no need. The few I have read were read because the book was written by an adult writer I admire or it has some sort of LGBT slant.

I wanted to read this book because it was banned by the Annville-Cleona school board located in Pennsylvania. I'm amazed at what gets people all riled up, riled up enough to ban this award winning book.

The book is about a cowboy that is in need of a bath. He takes a bath bu...more
Jim
Well, I guess I read a banned book to my son tonight.

Yup, this book has been banned.

There's an article here.

A news story here.

And an interview with the author here.

I thought it was a cute story...with great art by Adam Rex.

Banned? Good grief. Everyone should take a bath at least once a year...whether they need it or not.
Josianne Fitzgerald
Tall tale about a dirty cowboy who gets so clean his dog doesn't recognize him. Illustrations include lots of images of the cowboy's naked bit cleverly concealed by details in the setting.
Syntha Green
I picked this up because I had heard a school district in PA had banned it and I wanted to see what the furor was about. Honestly it's a funny story, a tall tale from the west. Adam Rex's illustrations are great. My 7 year-old asked me to read it to her again. She did not run off screaming about the naked man. All his important bits are covered. I would say it's no worse than David streaking down the street in the David series by Shannon. It put me in mind of King Bidgood's in the Bathtub by Woo...more
Sandy Brehl
A cleverly written and illustrated story about a cowboy whose filth level eventually triggers the need for a bath. he instructs his faithful dog to guard his clothes while he bathes in the river, but when he returns for them the dog doesn't recognize him- no trail smells! The ensuing battle for the clothes restores sufficient natural odors to allow recognition, but by then the clothes are ripped to shreds. Boots and hat are his only garb on the trip home.
The intricate language and visual detail...more
AnnieM
I picked this up after a book challenge in North Carolina. While the story is really good, the style of the illustrations is really freaky. The parents of the school had a problem with the content of the illustrations. First of all it's about a cowboy taking a bath, I don't know if there is a way to take a bath without removing clothing. Secondly it's a tall tale and therefor fiction, so get over it people.

The illustrations are hard to explain. The color choices and angles give them an erie fee...more
Ubalstecha
As the Cowboy is getting ready for his annual bath, he tells his dog to guard his clothes. But when he comes out of the river smelling clean, the dog doesn't recognize him. This leads to a donnybrook over the clothes the likes of which you have never seen.

This is a clever, funny book by Amy Timberlake. Boys will especially love the concept, drawings and all. And despite what certain moral minorities might say about banning this book, there is no full nudity in it. In fact, the clever ways in whi...more
Robin
Cowboy's dog faces off with him when the dog doesn't recognize his smell after a bath.
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368094
Amy Timberlake's newest book, One Came Home, has been called "a True Grit for the middle school set" (Bookpage), "a valentine to sisterhood and a bird that no longer exists" (The Washington Post), and "a rare gem of a novel" (The Christian Science Monitor). It's also a 2013 Junior Library Guild pick, and it's been awarded starred reviews by Kirkus, The Horn Book, School Library Journal and The Bul...more
More about Amy Timberlake...
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