Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

Isaacs (Swamp Angel) teams with Hawkes (The Wicked Big Toddlah) on this Texas humdinger about a wealthy widow and the men vying for her hand. The tall tale opens with a disclaimer (in Texas, “all exaggeration must be restricted to the first twenty-four hours past sunrise”), and an account of how Widow Jones and her three ladies-in-waiting turn her inherited property, By-Golly Ranch, into a desert paradise. “Soon every unmarried man in Texas hoped to marry Tulip Jones—and in 1870, every man in Texas was unmarried.” Widow Jones hires a humble baker, Charlie Doughpuncher, to help her feed the single cowboys who drop by. In pencil-and-acrylic caricatures, Hawkes pictures an unattractive crew of bachelor yokels (leaving the baker as the widow’s obvious choice). Widow Jones’s least appealing beaus are the most persistent: fiendish Sheriff Arroyo, with a live rattlesnake on his hat, and his snaggle-toothed brother Spit. Isaacs’s ability to spin a hyperbolic yarn is as sharp as ever as she chronicles the widow’s schemes to help the lonelyhearts, evade the Arroyo brothers, and round up a criminal gang to boot. Ages 5–9. (Feb.)