Armadillo Rodeo by Jan Brett is set in the heart of Texas Hill Country. The nearsighted armadillo, Bo, wanders off from his family and mistakes a pair of “pointy-toed, high-heeled, hand-tooled chili-pepper red boots with fancy cutwork, tall tops, and a Curly H brand,” for another armadillo and follows the boots (along with their wearer, Harmony Jean) as they go along on a Texas day, riding on the back of her horse, attending a rodeo, eating a jalapeno at a barbeque, and dancing the two-step. At the end of the day, Harmony Jean takes off her boots and Bo discovers, much to his dismay, that his new friend isn’t an armadillo after all. Just as he starts to get upset, his mother finds him again and all ends well. Jan Brett’s story and illustrations do a great job of faithfully rendering the environs from the bluebonnets to the prickly pear cactus and Bo’s mistake makes for an entertaining story, bound to evoke giggles as he follows the boots through the day.
The Texas Hill Country is a beautiful part of central Texas, especially in the spring with the bluebonnets bloom and before it gets oppressively hot. It offers something for everyone. There are cowboys and dude ranches, hiking, spelunking, tubing, a great music scene in Austin, and plenty of history from the Alamo in San Antonio to Washington on the Brazos, the site of the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence. If you’re planning a trip to Texas, Armadillo Rodeo certainly gets you in the mood.