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Cowboy Charlie: The Story of Charles M.…
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Cowboy Charlie: The Story of Charles M. Russell (edition 2016)

by Jeanette Winter (Author), Jeanette Winter (Illustrator)

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765275,357 (4.21)None
Young Charles Russell wanted to be a cowboy, so just two weeks shy of his sixteenth birthday, the determined Charlie boarded a train heading to the frontier. There, in 1880, in the land of buffalo, Indians, and open prairie, Charlie found his home. And there he became a painter-but not just any painter. Today Charles M. Russell is considered one of the greatest artists of the American West and one who opened its door to so many.… (more)
Member:ghostiereads
Title:Cowboy Charlie: The Story of Charles M. Russell
Authors:Jeanette Winter (Author)
Other authors:Jeanette Winter (Illustrator)
Info:Purple House Press (2016), Edition: Reissue, 32 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
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Cowboy Charlie: The Story of Charles M. Russell by Jeanette Winter

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Showing 5 of 5
In my opinion Cowboy Charlie is a rare find in the world of children's books. The story is pleasant and full of imagery of the simple yet beautiful life of a cowboy. The images are full of all sorts of animals and landscapes. This book captured my imagination and I found myself wishing I could live in a time where there were buffalo and Indian tribes. On the last page there is a short summary of Charlie Russell's last years and the impact he had. I was surprised to learn there is a museum named after him where his artwork can be found. I believe this book would work nicely for a read aloud to children because the illustrations are so engaging and invite questions and discovery. ( )
  AubrieSmith | Feb 2, 2017 |
Charles Russell grew up hearing stories about Davy Crockett and Ki Carson's adventures. Charlie drew pictures of his heroes, pretended the woods outside was the wild west, and made wax buffalo figurines while dreaming of being a cowboy. In a ill attempt to "chase his Western dreams away" his parents sent them to Montana Territory with a family friend. Upon arriving in the Judith Basin, Charlie knew he would never leave his new home. Charlie headed sheep, helped hunt in the mountains, and finally got a job guarding cowboys' horses. All while doing this, he painted everything he saw on whatever he could find. He even lived with the Blood Native Americans for awhile, taking the name "Ah-Wah-Cous". The expansion of the railroad ended the era of the cowboy. The arrival of towns, settlers, and fences divided the free roaming plains he had loved. He started painting everything he remembered. His paintings introduced the rest of the world to the Wild West.
This short overview of Charlie Russell's life includes beautiful pictures that are very colorful that any student will enjoy. I really enjoyed reading the book. One interesting thing the author included was a page that has a flap to make a much larger layout. The book tells a lot about the culture in that time, but overlooks issues between settlers and Native Americans. ( )
  charneyuno | Nov 12, 2016 |
Cowboy Charlie is the story of a boy that becomes a real cowboy. Charles Marion Russell was born and raised in St. Louis but dreamed of the Wild West. He thought of nothing else, so at the age of 15, his parents sent him with a family friend to visit Montana. His parents thought that a short trip would "chase his Western dreams away". However, once Charlie saw what he had dreamed about, he knew he was home. Charlie's dream of becoming a cowboy came true when started working as a nighthawk, guarding the cowboys' horses at night. Charlie started to hear the cowboys' stories and would later paint them. Everywhere Charlie went, he looked around to see what he could paint. He was even among a Native American tribe that accepted him and gave him an Indian name. Charlie took in all his surroundings and painted. As the West changed, Charlie gave up being a cowboy and became an artist. He allowed others to see the West through his paintings. The author did an incredible job with the illustrations. As the story begins, you feel like a child imagining being a cowboy. Then when Charlie arrives in the Plains, you can see the West come alive on the pages. The author included some information on Charles Marion Russell at the end of the book to show he was a real boy that became a cowboy and places where his art may be seen. ( )
  maryalvarez | Nov 2, 2016 |
Charlie Russell had dreams of leaving his home in St. Louis to go out West and be a cowboy. When he finally gets his opportunity, it turns out he isn’t very good at it. Persistent, he tries again and documents his adventures in the Wild West by painting them on anything he could find. He spends time with a Native American tribe, driving horses through the plains, and experiencing life. Eventually, Charlie settles down into a log cabin and becomes a famous artist.

Personal reaction:
I love that this story depicts the life of a real, American cowboy. Charlie Russell brought the Wild West to the world through art and was quite the successful cowboy. He truly is an American icon. This book is also fabulous because you can tie it into social studies units as well as art units so easily.

Classroom extension:
1. After reading the story, talk about the expansion and exploration of the Wild West. Introduce the class to other explorers and historical figures of the time. Then, assign groups of four one historical figure to research. Each group will create a poster with key information on it to display around the room.
2. Charles Russell was an artist that primarily worked with paint. After reading the story, talk to the class about different forms of art at that time, focusing heavily on Native American art. Pass around examples of decorated walls and teepees for the students to draw ideas from. Then, give the students a piece of leather-like material to simulate hide and ask them to decorate a part of the teepee. After the paint is dry, construct a two dimensional tepee with the pieces. ( )
  CaitlinHendy | Sep 19, 2016 |
Summary: Charles Russell grew up wanting to be a cowboy. As he got older he got a job in Montana as a herder. This didn't work out, and eventually Charlie became a cowboy. He traveled across the western territory, spending time with the native tribes and other cowboys who told him the tales about the cowboys before them. He spent many nights painting and sketching. As he got older, the nation changed. There were more fences, less herds, and the railroad made it's way through the West. Charlie decided to settle down and retired in 1892. He spent the rest of this days in a cabin, painting all the things he had seen and experience. He sharing the ways of the old West through his art.

Reflection: This is the first picture book biography I have read. I liked it. The pictures were wonderfully done, and it was written in such way that it wasn't boring and could easily keep the attention of a child.

Extension ideas: I think this would be a great book to introduce a study of the Wild West. The kids could go to a museum that has artifacts of the western days, and could maybe watch a movie set in that time period.
  michirenee87 | Jul 23, 2009 |
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Young Charles Russell wanted to be a cowboy, so just two weeks shy of his sixteenth birthday, the determined Charlie boarded a train heading to the frontier. There, in 1880, in the land of buffalo, Indians, and open prairie, Charlie found his home. And there he became a painter-but not just any painter. Today Charles M. Russell is considered one of the greatest artists of the American West and one who opened its door to so many.

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