Volume 18 Number 4
It's a sad privilege to review Dayal Kaur Khalsa's last book, completed a few months before her death from cancer last summer. She was forty-six years old. To those who knew the pain she had to overcome to complete seven books in four years, it is a poignant farewell as she dedicates Cowboy Dreams:To All My Old, Old Saddle Pals.
There's hardly a trail we didn't roam,
But the sun is setting in the West,
And it's time for me to head on home. Children will be delighted with the colour and humour of Cowboy Dreams, in which a little girl longs to own a horse. Based on her own experiences, Cowboy Dreams affirms the capacity of children to overcome disappointment through imagination and spunk. Khalsa was a rare children's book creator in that she was able to come up with original stories with spectacular illustrations. Khalsa's illustrations remind one of East Indian paintings, rich in colour and full of detail. She won numerous awards for her books, which include Tales of a Gambling Grandma ¹, I Want a Dog (Tundra Books, 1987), Sleepers ², My Family Vacation ³, How Pizza Cawne to Our Town 4 and the "Baabee Books" (for babies under one year old). This reviewer's favourite was Sleepers, finalist for the Governor General's Award in 1988.
Hazel Birt, Winnipeg, MB.
¹ Reviewed vol. XV/2 January 1987, p.32.
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