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Roundup at the Palace

by Kathleen Cook Waldron
illustrated by Alan Daniel & Lea Daniel

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post-confederation (1867-), westerns
list price: $9.95
published: 2006
publisher: Red Deer Press
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Roundup at The Palace

What do you do when you are confronted by a bull in a hotel lobby? Sing to him!

Zack is heading to the National Western Stock Show in Denver with his father and their bull Buster. On the road, Zack and his dad sing every song they know while the snowfall turns into a blinding blizzard. They detour through the city. In Denver, Alice and her mother hurry to open the gift shop at the Brown Palace Hotel. The truck is stuck in traffic while Buster fidgets in the back. Suddenly he escapes! Down the sidewalk he charges right through the doors of the hotel. In the lobby, he fixes his sights on Alice. Zack catches up and calls to her, “Don’t move...” “Sing to him,” he urges. Alice obliges. Together they calm Buster with a cowboy song as Zack loops his rope through Buster’s halter. They lead him back to the truck, singing all the way.

According to the author’s note, Brown Palace Hotel hosts champion bulls in its lobby during the National Western Stock Show and this story is loosely based on a real incident. Like Zack’s beloved cowboy songs, Kathleen Cook Waldron’s story is well-paced, providing necessary detail while leaving out the non-essentials. Readers learn just enough about Zack and Alice to identify with them. The writing is strong and full of action words that build tension and excitement.

Alan and Lea Daniel have filled the pages with colour and motion. The illustrations are lively and leavened with humour. Buster bursts through the pages as he thunders down the street into the hotel. He is larger-than-life. When Buster confronts Alice, the readers have a birds-eye view: Buster’s great girth in the foreground and Alice, small and vulnerable, in the background. Yet girl triumphs over beast. Actually it is the pair of children, Zack and Alice, remaining calm and using their heads, who avert a near disaster. Roundup at The Palace is an original, entertaining and wholly satisfying story.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2006. Vol.29 No. 3.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Roundup at the Palace

“Yip-ee-yi-yay…” Buster the Bull is heading for the Stock Show. Suddenly he jumps off the pickup, straight into a downtown hotel gift shop – with humorous consequences.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Canadian Children’s Book News. 2007.

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Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice, 2007


Zack is looking forward to taking Buster the bull to the National Western Stock Show in Denver. As Zack and his dad sing their way down the road, Buster the bull doesn't find his first trip away from the ranch much fun. When the snow turns into a blinding blizzard and Zack's dad must detour through downtown, Buster sees his chance to make his own hay. Thundering out of the truck, Buster gallops straight through the doors of the Brown Palace Hotel where, he confronts Alice, who works with her mother in the hotel gift shop. Zack must act quickly to save his new friend Alice and Buster from disaster.

Kathleen Cook Waldron's lively story of a boy and his bull is complemented by the rich and vibrant painting by Alan and Lea Daniel, who capture the drama and triumph of the roundup at the Palace.

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Contributor notes

Kathleen Cook Waldron was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. After teaching in Colorado's bilingual and summer migrant schools, Kathleen and her family moved to the Cariboo area of British Columbia. Inspired by The Secret Garden, MAD magazine and Spiderman comics, Kathleen is the author several critically acclaimed children's picture books including A Wilderness Passover (Red Deer Press, 1994) and A Winter's Yarn (Red Deer Press, 1986).

Alan Daniel works for publishers across North America from his Kitchener, Ontario, studio. His art is notable for its fine draftsmanship, humor and versatility of style. He is the illustrator of many children's picture books, including Bunnicula: Return to Howliday Inn, Good Families Don't, The Grand Escape, The Healing of Texas Juke and Carlotta's Kittens. Alan Daniel often collaborates with partner Lea Daniel. Together they illustrated Sody Salleratus, which earned them MR. CHRISTIE BOOK AWARD

Lea Daniel has collaborated with her partner Alan Daniel on 23 books in the Songbox Series as well as My Home Bay, The Best Figure Skater in the Whole World and Sody Salleratus, which earned them the MR. CHRISTIE BOOK AWARD. Lea is the author of Drummer and Finnger's War and has two short plays produced.

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About the Authors

Kathleen Cook Waldron

Kathleen's work experience includes being a swimming instructor, playground supervisor, lifeguard, waitress, chambermaid, tree planter, house painter, teacher (kindergarten-adult), and of course, writer.
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Alan Daniel

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Lea Daniel

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