Erica Silverman, author
Betsy Lewin, illustrator
Giddyap partner! Cowgirl Kate and her pet horse, Cocoa, live on a ranch out west and engage in ranch-y sorts of things (like checking cow pastures, going on trail rides, etc.) while also dealing with more familiar tasks (going to school). And Cocoa can talk, of course! This series is cute and a fun change from the boy-heavy early reader canon (ever notice that there are more boy characters--even in animal form--than girl characters? Especially if we're talking main characters here... I won't even mention the heavy preponderance of white characters--that's another post for another day).
At any rate, check these titles out when your young reader is moving in the Henry and Mudge stage (these are just a teensy bit harder than those). Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa focus on the usual friendship themes found so often in the early reader canon (and yet, those themes just don't grow old, do they?).
Titles in the series (so far)--and no need to read them "in order"
- Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa
- Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa: Partners
- Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa: School Days
- Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa: Rain or Shine
- Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa: Spring Days
- Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa: Horse in the House