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Buster Goes to Cowboy Camp    by Denise Fleming order for
Buster Goes to Cowboy Camp
by Denise Fleming
Order:  USA  Can
Henry Holt, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

The canine character from a previous book by the author is back, and this time his owner, Brown Shoes, is going away on vacation. Rather than stay with his next-door neighbor, Mrs. Pink Slippers, who only likes cats, Buster is being sent to Cowboy camp. Buster is sad that he will be separated from Betty the cat and his owner.

Red Boots welcomes Buster with a bandana and gives him a tour. After an intial bout of shyness and fear, Buster ends up playing all kinds of games, such as Buckaroo Ball and Roundup, and even helps cook beans and bacon over the campfire. The last scene depicts a contented Buster, drooling and snoring away, with his bunkmate, Snarkle the bulldog, by his side.

A child who may be sleeping away from his or her parents for the first time will identify with Buster, who anticipates homesickness and loneliness, but ends up having a great time at his kennel/camp.

Fleming used pulp painting, which is a papermaking technique, to depict Buster at camp. Buster and the other dogs are charming in their bandanas. For extra fun, the author has included a list of Cowpoke Words on the book's back cover.

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