Book Review: Barney the Lopsided Mule

I was recently out on the internet reaching out to other children’s book authors when I came across The Cowgirl Poet, Liz Hughley. Her back story intrigued me, having grown up listening to my father’s stories of packing supplies into fire lookout towers in the Idaho and Montana wilderness. Liz spent a good portion of her twenties packing in the Colorado wilderness and now lives on a Red Angus Beef ranch in Southeastern Indiana. 

I reached out to Liz to see if she would be interested in reading my book Cowgirl Lessons. She responded in kind and asked me to read her book, Barney the Lopsided Mule. She also has a second book, Pack String Hang-Up…A Mule Trail Ride. 

Barney the Lopsided Mule is a delightful story about a pack sting and a special mule named Barney who presents all sorts of problems keeping his pack on. What is really special about this book, is Liz makes learning about mules and the equipment used for packing fun. She has interwoven facts in her story as well as a message to younger readers about healthy eating and growing big and strong. The message is subtle. 

Her writing style of poetry is also fun. As someone who also writes in rhyme, I know how challenging it can be to find words that rhyme and still make sense within the context of the story. Liz does this well. 

The other equally delightful part of this story is the illustrations by Bonnie Shields. If you are a fan of Leanin’ Tree Cards you may recognize her style. The images, while having a bit of whimsy, feel very realistic as if you could step right into wilderness and smell the pine trees. 

You can be sure I will add Liz to my list of authors who write books about equines (horses and mules)! 

These books make perfect gifts for your little cowboys and cowgirls. Both of Liz’s books are available on Amazon as well as her website 

Image copyright Liz Hughley.




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