Module 6: Cowpoke Clyde and Dirty Dawg

Book Cover Image:

cowpoke clyde

 Image Credit: Campbell County Public Library. (2015)

Book Summary:

Cowpoke Clyde has finished cleaning his house and is ready to enjoy a bowl of hot soup, when he notices that Dawg, his faithful companion, needs a bath.  Clyde gathers the necessary supplies, alerting Dawg to his plan, and sending him scurrying out of the house into the ranch yard.  On each double-page spread,  Clyde tries to catch Dawg, but only succeeds in soaking the cats, the hog, the mule, and himself.  Finally, Clyde gives up and decides he’ll just take a relaxing soak under the moon.  As Clyde quits chasing and starts crooning, Dawg can’t resist jumping in the bath with his owner — causing Clyde to realize he doesn’t have to fight with Dawg to get him clean.

 APA Reference of Book:

Mortensen, L., & Austin, M. (2013). Cowpoke Clyde and Dirty Dawg. Boston, MA: Clarion Books.


 I thought Cowpoke Clyde and Dirty Dawg was an excellent book. It featured interesting illustrations and a fun rhyme.  Each double-page illustration gives a small preview of what’s to come on the next page, helping children with prediction skills.  The illustrations also lead off the right-hand side of the page – encouraging the page-turn to continue the story.  The rhyme of the text is a second way that prediction skills are strengthened, as each rhyme concludes with the next page’s main word; it’s easy to imagine reading this with a child, and having them yell out the word to finish the rhyme – engagement!  Finally, the ending of the story demonstrates a change in both Cowpoke Clyde, who gives up forcing his dog into the bath, and Dirty Dawg, who decides bathing with his master isn’t so bad, after all.

Professional Review:

“At the end of a satisfying day, Cowpoke Clyde decides that the only thing he’d forgotten to clean was his “ol’ Dawg, his faithful, snorin’ friend,/all caked with mud from end to end.” However, corralling Dawg is definitely not a snap, and Clyde’s continued efforts result in a cumulative disaster of frantic chickens, flying feathers, spilled soup, biting fleas, a slippery hog, hissing cats, and a braying mule, all “gettin’ soaked” instead of Dawg. Even the hog gets a wide-eyed close-up here. Finely crafted acrylic scenes contain a wide range of angled perspectives and shadows within Clyde’s tiny shack and outside on the ranch. Cartoon figures cavort across the spreads and escape their frames. Rhyming couplets reveal a cowboy twang of missing final “g’s.” A first purchase for most libraries”

Review Source:
 Elam, M. (2013, April) Cowpoke Clyde and dirty Dawg. [A review of the book Cowpoke Clyde and Dirty Dawg by L. Mortensen] School Library Journal, 59(4), 138.

Library Uses:

Read aloud with kindergarten students, allowing them to complete each couplet with the rhyming word.  Tell them that, most of the time, a clue to the correct word can be found by carefully studying the picture on the preceding page.


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