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Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

Press:Schwartz & Wade Books Schwartz & Wade (February 11, 2014)
Author Name:Isaacs, Anne; Hawkes, Kevin;


When Widow Tulip Jones of Bore, England, inherits a ranch in By-Golly Gully, Texas, and moves in with two trunks of tea, twelve pet tortoises, and three servants, hilarity ensues. 
The peaceful life suits the wealthy widow fine until word gets out and every unmarried man in Texas lines up to marry her.
Widow Tulip and her small staff of three can't possibly run the farm and manage all the suitors, so she devises a plan—and it just might work.
This story filled with giant tortoises, 1,000 brides, bad guys, a smart widow, and even a little romance is sure to get kids laughing.

From Booklist

English widow Tulip Jones is off to America, having inherited $35 million and an entire ranch in Texas, with a lot of tea, her three ranch hands (née house servants),  and 12 pet tortoises in tow. 
With pluck and verve, they establish themselves in the Texas heat but soon find their efforts interrupted by more than 1000 marriageable fortune hunters.
Widow Jones has to hire her own baker, one Charlie Doughpuncher, just to feed them all.
At her wits end, she hatches a few impossible contests, promising to marry the winner.
Meanwhile, the ranch hands solicit 1000 brides from across the country.
And voila, dastards are caught, vows exchanged, and everyone, even the ranch hands, departs.
Except Charlie, of course, who has a proposal of his own.
Isaacs’ tall-tale plotting and over-the-top language are matched by Hawkes’ bright, comic paintings, brimming with spirit and detail.
An opening endpaper signpost warns against exaggeration in Texas, promising just the outsize adventure that Isaacs and Hawkes deliver.
Grades K-3.
--Thom Barthelmess

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

ANNE ISSACS is the author of Swamp Angel, a Caldecott Honor and ALA Notable Book; and its sequel, Dust Devil, which received four starred reviews; the Ghosts of Luckless Gulch, a New York Public Library Best Book; Treehouse Tales, a Junior Library Guild selection; Cat Up a Tree, a New York Public Library Title for Reading and Sharing; Torn Thread, an ALA Notable Book and a National Jewish Book Award finalist; and Pancakes for Supper, winner of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award. 
KEVIN HAWKES is the illustrator of Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly, My Little Sister Ate One Hare, Library Lion, Weslandia, and The Road to Oz.
He also wrote and illustrated Wicked Big Toddlah.


Children's Books,Humor,Science Fiction & Fantasy,Fantasy & Magic

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Comment List (Total:11)

  •     K picked this book up from his school library.Even though I enjoyed the book I do not think K did. I didn't read the blurb when he brought the book home I just looked at the cover and was like oh wow giant tortoises how fun will this book be.You have Widow Tulip who has a farm and the farm grows BIG things which I thought was awesome. But then in comes the talk about marriage, suitors are coming up to marry this Widow and she sets them on tasks which are pretty cool. K only thought the giant tortoises, the food and how the millions of ducks were in the river was awesome. Other than that I think the story kind of flew over his head as to what it was about. Overall a fun read for those that like Tall Tales!

  •     My elementary students enjoyed the pictures and story. Worth buying.

  •     what a fun read even if you are a seventy two-year old grandma like me. It is a fun short story that every Texas born child will use to make Texas pride swell to new preposterous limits. Of course kids from other places will pick at it for flaws in reality but most will like it for what it is, a fun read.

  •     My granddaughter loves it. Jane

  •     I checked this book out from my local library after seeing it on Amazon's Editor's Picks. A tall tale complete with full-color illustrations on every page, the story is fun with all sorts of dastardly characters. I really enjoyed the exaggeration. But, giant tortoises running around like jackrabbits? That's just riprocious!

  •     I had this sent to my grandson. His Mom says it's a favorite!

  •     Unique story. Older grandson wasn't too sure about content at first but thought it was ok. Appealed more to the 4 yo.

  •     MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE RANCH is straight out of Texas, where, under the full penalty of the law, exaggeration is forbidden to every person (unless that person is an elected official or anyone who has ever ridden a horse), so the reader can take sometimes unbelievable tale as fact. It's 1870 When Tulip Jones, a widow from Greater Bore, England, inherits a ranch in By-Golly Gully, Texas. She sets off to set up residence, armed with plenty of tea, twelve pet tortoises (named January, February, March, and so on), and her three capable servants, Linsey, Woolsey, and Calico. Tulip quickly learns everything is bigger in Texas, including vegetables, tortoises, and the lines of bachelors who line up to marry eligible ladies. As a swarm of unmarried men descend upon By-Golly Ranch, Tulip and her ladies struggle to run the ranch and entertain the endless stream of suitors. It takes Tulip no small about of wit and cleverness to rid herself of the gold-digging suitors and, along the way, she just might find true love.

  •     Very few tall tales are this funny and sweet, and I'm pretty sure this is the only one with giant turtles. When the widowed Tulip Jones ends up with 35 million dollars and moves to By-Golly Gully, Texas, she has no idea how much trouble is waiting for her! Everything is bigger in Texas, including the line of suitors who want to marry the widow. Her plan to get rid of them seems doomed to fail, too... so luckily her gal ranch hands have a backup plan. A happily ever after that's 100% satisfying.

  •     Can't wait to read this to my library classes! I fell in love with it and I can't wait to see which age group likes it the most.

  •     the children enjoyed this book


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