Bubba the Cowboy Prince: A Fractured Texas Tale by Helen Ketteman. Illustrated by James Warhola. A Month of Cinderellas Continued.

 Click here to buy Bubba, The Cowboy Prince

In this wacky Cinderella, the roles are reversed. Miz Lurleen is looking for a husband. Bubba, the cowboy, is bullied by his step daddy and two stepbrothers Dwayne and Milton.

When Baba is left behind, a fairy God cow gives him a dazzling new outfit so that he can attend the ball. (Why a cow destined to be killed and eaten would help a cowboy is beyond me. But that’s another blog post.) Bubba goes to the ball, dances with Miz Lurleen, and wins her heart. When the clock strikes midnight, Bubba’s clothing turns back to dirty rags and he smells horrible. He runs from the room leaving a boot behind. Lurleen goes from ranch to ranch with the boot trying to find the “real cowboy.” She finds and marries Bubba who remains dirty and stinky and just the way she wants.

I love that Miz Lurleen prefers the real Bubba to the clean and shiny one. It’s also nice to see the woman actively choosing who she wants to marry.

The vocabulary has just enough “Western” dialogue to give it flavor. For example, “Milton and Dwayne spent all day getting gussied up in their finest duds. Bubba about ran hisself ragged waiting on them.” Of course, you’ll have to explain to the child that the incorrect grammar is there for flavor and not to be emulated except for humorous effect.

The illustrations are impressive and could transfer easily to a Pixar movie. Situations are depicted with humor and expression.

Kids would love this alternative Cinderella story.


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