Ghost stories are probably as old as storytelling itself. This type of storytelling usually revolves around a dark night with limited lighting. Often the story teller is using a flashlight to highlight they are the one sharing their story. This is probably why when you scroll through the opening of Creepers Mysteries Haunted Cattle Drive at the Table of Contents it reads: Turn the lights down low, and crank the fun up high! Read it with a flashlight, if you dare!
Haunted Cattle Drive is a children’s book that can be read to most ages and even some adults should enjoy the book. The book is also unique as within its pages there is an opportunity for parents and children to interact in some fun. I am getting a head of myself by saying this so let me talk about the book first.
The story is written by Connie Kingrey Anderson and opens with a description of the western sky, and the bluffs. The opening includes a slight forwarding of what you may find as you continue reading as it’s mentioned that long rides in a saddle can lead to people seeing “things”. What are these things? What could they see, or come across? Well those are the questions.
Haunted Cattle Drive introduces the reader to a trio of kids on their way to Smokey Joe’s ranch. Harry and Gillian are on their way to help their mother’s travel agency by checking out the ranch. They have their friend Marvin, I’m sorry that’s Arvin along with them. You see, Arvin has ridden a horse before unlike Harry and Gillian so he should do well at the ranch. Arvin isn’t the greenhorn the other two children are, and he tries to show that in the book.
The tourist bus they travel in, to get to Smokey Joe’s ranch, is driven by Smokey Joe himself. He introduces himself and talks to the children as they begin the long drive. He even points out some really old wanted posters hanging within the bus to the kids. The drive is a long one and soon the children find themselves asleep as the bus continues down the road. Harry is awoken at one point and he and Gillian get quite a surprise as others appear and disappear from the bus. An event that is later discussed and leads down the path of an adventure.
The adventure will take the kids on a cattle drive into the wide open spaces under a dark sky. A drive that takes them along paths used by rustlers and thieves back over time, and where the thought of gold leaves Arvin a bit pre-occupied with finding this gold.
What author Connie Kingrey Anderson does within these pages matches well with the publisher of the book, Movies for the Ear. You see this is a story that should be read out loud and enjoyed by all involved. The story may not seem to very scary to some, but the characters are well developed. Anderson also does a great job in giving you the back story on the protagonists in the story. Along with how a legendary bounty hunter may have been tricked by his “final” arrest. All of this ties well into the book and makes for an enjoyable read.
As I mentioned earlier the book has some additional items that parents, and children, will enjoy. After the main story there is an opportunity for people to “Create Your Own Movie for the Ear”. You will be introduced to Holly who takes the reader through the finer points of casting, rehearsing and adding sound affects to your “movie”. This includes everything on how to use what you have just learned to put on a performance that others will enjoy. This is something rare in many children’s books and is a unique in this genre. In the entire book and the additional bonus material is something that is enjoyable and should be fun for all.