Texas Cowboys

Books to Share

  • Cowboy Baby by Sue Heap.
  • Cowboy Kid by Max Eilenberg.
  • Cowgirl Rosie and Five Baby Bisons by Stephen Gulbis.
  • Just Like My Dad by Tricia Gardella.
  • Ten Little Rabbits by Virginia Grossman.

Books to Display and Booktalk

  • Bill Pickett: Rodeo-Ridin' Cowboy by Andrea Pinkney.
  • Cowboys ABC by Chris Demarest.
  • "T" Is For Texas by Mary D. Wade

Nametag and Stamp

As the children enter the storytime room, give them nametags made from a die-cut of cowboy hats or boots, and stamp their hands with the Kidstamps' "Boot" by Janet Stevens.



(Adapted by Leila Raven Parrish from Ring A Ring O'Roses)

The cowboy rides (Close fists, thumbs upwards and make large semi-circles with both hands)

On a gallopy horse.

Gillopy, gallopy,

Trot-trot-trot. (Move hands up and down)

Over the hilltop,

Down through the valley,

Leaping the creek, (Large motion of jumping)

Where the cows rally.

The cowboy rides (Repeat first motion)

On a gallopy horse,

Gillopy, gallopy,


Puppet Show

Little Red Cowboy Vest: A Texas Version of Little Red Riding Hood

(by Leila Raven Parrish)


  • Little Red Cowboy Vest
  • Coyote
  • Me Maw


  • Basket


  • Piney Wood Forest
  • Ranch

Scene 1. The Piney Wood Forest

Little Red:
(Little Red enters stage left with basket) Howdy there y'all! My name is "Little Red." It's on account I always wear this red cowboy vest my Ma gave me. Folks been callin' me Little Red ever since I can remember. (Pause) What's in my basket? Well, poor Me Maw! She hasn't been feelin' well. I'm going to take her this little basket of fixins' from Ma. Let's see what we have…mmm- MMM! Hot 1015 onion soup, fresh jalapeño cornbread, Ruby Red grapefruit, pecan pie and of course, the official dish of the great state of Texas, chili! Mmm-MMM this ought to fix Me Maw right up, yessiree! Well, I best be goin'. I've got a long ways to go. (Little Red moves right looking around) These East Texas woods sure can be scary. Ma told me to watch out for a coyote that prowls around these parts lookin' for little cowgirls to eat. I sure wish I knew what a coyote looks like.

(Enters left, sneaks up behind Little Red) Gr-r-acious weather we're having in these parts.

Little Red:
OH! Y'all scared me! (Pause) I'm sorry, but I can't stay and visit. I'm takin' this basket of fixins' to my sick Me Maw.

Very commendable, to be sure. Where did you say she lives?

Little Red:
Why she lives…(to audience singing) Oops, I did it again! (To Coyote) My Ma and Pa told me not to talk to strangers. There is a dangerous coyote around these parts, have you seen him?

Ho-oo-owl! Why, little one, I've not seen anyone, any more dangerous than myself. And, ho-oo-owl, you can see how harmless I am!

Little Red:
I must go now. Me Maw lives on the other side of these woods, and I still have a long way to go. Good day. (Exits right)

How-oo-owl! She lives on the other side of the woods, does she? Why I can be there faster than that little cowgirl can say "git along little dogies," just waiting to eat her up!

Scene 2. Me Maw's Ranch

Me Maw:
(Enters stage right) Oh me, oh my. I've been feelin' down right sick. (To audience) Y'all haven't seen a little cowgirl wearing a red vest, have you? (Knock at door) That must be my grandbaby now. I better check. (Calls stage left) Who all's there?

(Enters left.) How-oo-oul! (Changes voice) It is I, Me Maw, Little Red. I've come with fixins' to make you well.

Me Maw:
Oh, come in, come in youngin'. I was just fixin' to get into bed. (Looks left at coyote, then to audience) Y'all, I do believe that there is a coyote!

How-oo-owl! Why I reckon she's on to me. (To audience, then to Me Maw) It's into the pantry for you, old lady, while I wait for Little Red. (Knock at door) How-oo-owl! Who's there?

Little Red:
(To audience) Y'all, she must really be sick, she doesn't sound at all like herself.

Come in, dear youngin'. (Changing voice)

Little Red:
Poor Me Maw, you must not be feelin' well at all. Wait 'till you taste some of the fresh jalapeño cornbread and chili.

How-oo-owl! Just put the basket down, youngin', and come closer to me. I want to feast my eyes on you.

Little Red:
Me Maw! What BIG eyes you have!

The better to see you with, youngin'!

Little Red:
Me Maw! What BIG ears you have!

The better to hear you with, youngin'!

Little Red:
Me Maw! What a BIG, wide mouth and sharp teeth you have!

The better to EAT you with!

Little Red:
(To audience) Wait a minute y'all, that must be the coyote! (To coyote) Hey, you, Coyote! What did you do with Me Maw?

The old lady's in the pantry.

Little Red:
Who do you think you are, locking Me Maw in the pantry and chasing little cowgirls?

How-oo-owl!? I have to eat too?!!

Little Red:
(To audience) I need you to distract the coyote while I fetch my lasso. On the count of three, I need everyone to how1. 1-2-3, How-owwl!

(Joins in with audience) How-ooo-owl!

Little Red:
(Exits. Calls from off stage.) Again! Howl! (Coyote continues to howl and Little Red returns with lasso and lassos Coyote from behind) I got YOU now! (Drags Coyote off stage)

Me Maw:
(Enters) Oh I am so glad to be out of that pantry.

Little Red:
(Enters dragging Coyote puppet) I've called the Park Ranger to come get this coyote. He won't be prowling these parts anymore. Come on, Me Maw, let's check out this basket of goodies!


Tell "Little Indian Maidens," a simple counting story about Indian Chief and his 10 daughters a cut and tell story on pages 58-59 of Paper Stories by Jean Stangl.

Read "C: Cattle Drive" from "T" Is For Texas by Mary D. Wade.

Read "R: Rodeo" from "T" Is For Texas by Mary D. Wade.


Indian Headdress

(Adapted from Child's Play Around The World by Leslie Hamilton)


  • Brown paper grocery bag
  • Colorful construction paper
  • Glue stick
  • Stapler or Tape


Precut various colors of feathers 7 inches long from construction paper, 8 per child. Precut 4" x 36" strips from grocery bags, 1 per child. Children select 8 feathers and 1 strip and glue the feathers to the strip. An adult wraps the strip around the children's heads and staples or tapes the ends together.

Cowboy Vests

cowboy vest


  • Brown grocery bags
  • Markers
  • Paper and/or fabric shapes
  • Glue
  • Paint and paint brushes


Precut the center front of the grocery bag. Precut a neck hole and two armholes. Children decorate the bags/vests using markers, paint, fabric, and glue. They look best if the bag is decorated with the inside out. Use the illustration in this chapter as a guide.



  • Muslin Fabric
  • Paint
  • Plastic cookie cutters and/or sponges cut into western shapes


Precut muslin into triangles. Children dip the cookie cutters or sponges in paint and then place them on the fabric. Note: sponges in various shapes may be purchased at craft stores.

Games and Activities

Take Home Coloring Sheets

Print "Alphabet B" or "Custom Boot" from Jan Brett's web page at www.janbrett.com.

Boot Pinata

Fill a boot-shaped piñata with cowboy and southwestern trinkets. Let the children take turns swinging at it with a plastic bat or stick. Do not blindfold toddlers!

Guest Speakers

Invite a cowboy to talk about the clothes he wears and what he does.

Invite a performer to lead a cowboy song sing-a-long

Web Sites

Jan Brett

Ellison offers hundreds of decorative and instructional dies for use with their letter and shape cutting system. The address and phone for Ellison are: Ellison, 25862 Commercentre Drive, Lake Forest, CA 92630-9908.



Kidstamps celebrates the art of children's picture books and features the work of more than 40 famous illustrators. Items available to purchase include stamps, mugs, and t-shirts. The address and phone number are: PO Box 18699, Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118. 1-880-727-5437.

Nancy Renfro Puppets

Professional Resources

  • Child's Play Around The World: 170 Crafts, Games, And Projects For Two-to-Six-Year-olds by Leslie Hamilton.
  • Little Hands Big Fun Craft Book: Creative fun for 2-to-6-year-olds by Judy Press.


Texas Reading Club 2002 Programming Manual / Read Across Texas!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011