Charlie the Ranch Dog

Buying books from the youth section of the bookstore is a compulsion I have had to live with since long before I had children of my own. Now that my oldest child is almost 6 years of age I can’t help but to observe the vast amount of books I have purchased and wonder, how much is too much? I have made a concerted effort to buy less for the sake of having less, but I am secretly ecstatic when we receive great books as gifts.

My Parents recently returned home from trip to Europe. Of course, going on vacation and leaving your family members home to face the Southern Utah wind alone is not only cruel but merits some restitution, usually found in the form of a keepsake from one of the destination points of interest. I believe my children felt their grandparents owed them a gift of apology for being unable to “play” (also known as babysitting) at a moment’s notice during the past 2 weeks.  However, since the souvenirs from this particular trip were mailed home, Grandma and Grandpa decided they had better pick up something for the kids during their layover in New York. The gift of choice; a book!

As we are always excited for new books, we rushed upstairs to sit in the favorite reading chair to examine the new merchandise. C7’s book was called “Charlie the Ranch Dog”. After reading each of the three books (one for each child, of course) several times it was unanimous, Charlie was the favorite. I believe the members of this household are a bit biased toward books involving horses, farms, cowboys, and especially, DOGS but even if we didn’t posses this sense of favoritism I believe we would still have voted “Charlie” as number one.

The first time I finished the book I noticed there was a recipe for Lasagna at the end. Strange, I thought, but appreciated. The next time through I decided to give the recipe a longer look and noticed it was called, “The Pioneer Women’s (and Charlie’s) Favorite Lasagna”. My brain said, “hum? The Pioneer Women? As in Funny, I just read that blog last night.” And, sure enough, the author of “Charlie” is Ree Drummond, AKA The Pioneer Women.

My hat goes off to Ree for having the ability to write a book that everyone from 18 months to 100 would enjoy. I found myself comparing the dogs to different people I know (maybe I shouldn’t have admitted that??) and laughing out loud. I am currently reading Atlas Shrugged and was also thrilled with the comparisons to be made between an 1100 page philosophical novel and a 35 page picture book. Okay, I’m reading into it way too much; the book was funny, heroic, and beautifully illustrated.  So anyone who enjoys a good book and loves animals, farms, ranching, or just a good honest laugh should look for “Charlie the Ranch Dog”.