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Blending elements of the tall tale and fractured fairy tale, Ketteman offers a Texanized version of the Cinderella story.

Set on a dry Texas ranch, this tale follows Bubba, the good brother, as he does the chores of his “hateful and lazy” stepbrothers. Bubba is mistreated, made fun of, overworked and neglected, but (in typical fairy tale fashion) maintains a positive attitude in spite of it all. When the “richest and purtiest” gal in the county throws a ball in order to find “a feller,” Bubba gets left out once again. Luckily, his ever-present fairy godcow saves the day, turning him into a cowboy who is as “cute as a cow’s ear.” In a fairy tale twist, Bubba’s true identity is revealed at the ball, during his dance with Miz Lurleen. She loves him in spite of his smelliness, and they ride off into the sunset together — Texas style.

Ketteman uses plenty of colloquialisms (Texasisms) and Lone star similes: “darker than a black bull at midnight,” “whiter than a new salt lick,” “ten-dollar Stetson on a five-cent head,” “chicken-fits,” to inject humor into a traditional plot.

Warhola’s drawings are colorful cartoon stereotypes. Facial expressions combined with exaggerated features (Dwayne’s big teeth, Milton’s size, Daddy’s evil mustache, Miz Lurleen’s big hair, Bubba’s good looks) create the story’s stock (Texas style) characters. Warhola does not shy away from the bigness of the Texas Plains, incorporating the best clichés of our state: big sky, stars at night, cactus and mesquite, tornadoes and thunderstorms.

Full of puns and inside (Texas) jokes, this book is a refreshing version of a traditional tale — and funnier than a polled-heifer chewin’ on locoweed. (book review from Kid Lit Librarian)
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CONNECTIONS:
Related books: Waynetta and the Cornstalk, a Texas Fairy Tale by Helen Ketteman. (twist on Jack and the Beanstalk), Armadilly Chili by Helen Ketteman (spin on The Little Red Hen).
If you prefer your fairy tales fractured and twisted in more than just setting and character check out John Scieszka’s The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, and The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales.
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Activities:
Bubba The Cowboy Prince is a great book to introduce literary techniques like simile and hyperbole.
Students could write their own Texas tale, using Ketteman’s Lonestar similes and Texasisms as a model.

This book would also be a good introduction to stereotypes and an opportunity to discuss visual biases.
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Fractured Fairy Tales:
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Cowboys & Castles -- Interacting with Fractured Texas Tales ... Read, Write, Think
....OVERVIEW....Interacting with and responding to texts is an important foundation to build in the primary grades and is a great way to encourage the language development of English-language learners (ELLs). Invite students to explore five different ways to respond to text as they listen to two traditional fairy tales and their Wild West versions. Students engage with the text by talking back to characters in Cinderella, dramatizing events in Bubba the Cowboy Prince, inserting themselves into the story of Little Red Riding Hood, and critiquing and controlling story elements in Little Red Cowboy Hat. After comparing and contrasting Little Red Riding Hood and Little Red Cowboy Hat, students plan and create an original fractured tale.

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