Review Detail

Kids Fiction 1145
An Undersea Western
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Scout and Virgil, the O.K. Corals two best undersea cowhands, try to outdo each other at roundups, on the trail, even at branding time. They each bring unique skills to their jobs (Virgil can rope and tie; Scout can herd) but they cant stop competing! That is, until the biggest, meanest shark around swims into their lives and starts devouring the cowfish. Can Scout and Virgil put aside their differences and finally work together?

Rope Em by Stacy Nyikos offers a cute concept, mixing westerns with the undersea world, but the book feels ho-hum just when the reader should be holding her breath in anticipation. The colorful illustrations whimsically add life to the story and several amusing word plays wink at adults, but somehow the story never draws readers into the world of Virgil and Scout.

The excellent theme of working together and playing upon each others strengths clearly emerges. In our competitive society, this book informs children that it is okay to depend on others, even a good thing. Average story, excellent message.
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