HITCHIN’ POSTand the Tornado Twistin’4th of July Celebration
JULIE BARKER illustrated by Carolyn Altman
Genre: Children’s Picture Book / Western / Fantasy
Date of Publication: September 28, 2018
Number of Pages: 50
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Hitchin’ Post, the cowboy jackrabbit, is back with an all new adventure on the 6Bs’ Ranch. Hitch’s brothers come to visit for the annual 4th of July rodeo and dance, but they get much more than a long-awaited visit with their brother. When a giant tornado threatens to cut their Independence Day celebration short, Hitchin’ Post, his brothers, and the rest of the cowboys have to work hard to save the ranch and the celebration. Hitchin’ Post shows that even though he is just a small jackrabbit, he has the courage it takes to bring everyone together to rebuild what the tornado destroyed. Because of old Hitch being a great leader, the 6Bs’ 4th of July celebration will go on! This is the second book in the Hitchin’ Post series by Julie Barker, where Julie once again collaborates with her mother, artist Carolyn Altman, who provides the illustrations in this romping, stomping cowboy adventure!
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:
Hitchin’ Post and the Tornado Twistin’ 4th of July Celebration is a brilliantly woven story with a strong plot that will easily entertain anyone. The illustrations by Carolyn Altman are fun and engaging, complementing the story. I love how Barker has written an interesting story that will teach kids how working together as a team makes the hard work a whole lot lighter and much more rewarding. – Readers’ Favorite, 5 STARS
I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.
Featuring a cast of anthropomorphic jackrabbits working alongside ranchers, this charming and skillful story presents so many positive messages that readers of all ages will end up celebrating right along with the characters. Hitch and his brothers face very real problems that readers will easily recognize, but the way in which these characters handle their struggles will speak volumes towards communicating important messages of perseverance, resiliency, self-worth, cooperation, and bravery. Whether large or small, there will always be problems to solve, but the ability to harness those qualities in the hour of need is character defining.
The story’s unique stanza structure sometimes alternates rhyme scheme or vowel sound, creating poetic prose that will both entertain and engage a wide audience. The text is bold, yet nicely placed so as not to distract from the images. The colorful illustrations are very whimsically portrayed and make the story come alive! They are bright, appealing, and quite expressive, adding a layer of emotional understanding for early readers that guides in their ability to visualize what concepts such as determination, courage, and pride look like. The style and size of the illustrations change a few times as the story progresses that not only adds to the visual interest, but also provides inviting perspectives that work to further pull readers into Hitch’s adventure.
For a paperback edition, the quality of the book’s construction is fantastic! The thick pages are well bound and the glossy texture showcases the vividness of the illustrations.
Overall, this is a remarkable selection to connect multi-generational families, inspiring and projecting not just the heritage of ranching, but the characteristics we admire, model, and hope to instill within the little ones among us.
Julie Barker is the author of Hitchin’ Post, her debut children’s storybook. With inspiration from her West Texas roots and being surrounded by the ranching heritage, Julie is fulfilling her dream of becoming a children’s author. Along with the encouragement and beautiful illustrations from her mother and artist, Carolyn Altman, the story of Hitchin’ Post the cowboy jackrabbit was born and is now officially a series. The second book, Hitchin’ Post and the Tornado Twistin’ 4th of July Celebration, was released September 2018.
Carolyn Altman is an artist and the illustrator of the Hitchin’ Post children’s book series, in which she collaborated with her daughter, Julie Barker, the author. Carolyn resides in Vernon, Texas, with her husband Stanley. They have two daughters and six grandchildren, all of whom live nearby. “Touch the Heart with Original Art” is Carolyn’s slogan, which she has used for the past 40 years as she creates lighthearted and inspiring art with subjects such as wildlife, horses, cattle, and cowboys, in hopes of helping to preserve this way of life for many years to come.
The beginning of her art career consisted of using mostly oil and acrylic mediums, then Carolyn began creating baby memory books in which she incorporates her art into each page. Each baby memory book is personalized and truly a work of art in itself. Carolyn believes that her experiences throughout her life are what inspires her art.
She has spent her life in West Texas surrounded by wide open spaces and the beauty of the farming and ranching heritage, and that way of life will always show up in her paintings and illustrations. Her latest creations include a series of angel paintings depicting what she deems most important in her life — her faith.
Many thanks to Lone Star Book Blog Tours as well as Julie Barker and Carolyn Altman! It was a pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting! And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions and extras!