Bandit the Cow Dog by Phil Mills Jr.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

This story reinforces the importance of responsibility and consequences for a child in a way that made it easy to understand and an enjoyable story. I loved the way it was written and my daughter did too!

My Synopsis:

Mary Andrews is spending the summer on her grandparent’s ranch. Her grandmother discusses with her the chores she will be responsible for while at the ranch. There are eggs to collect and in an exciting turn of events, a horse that she can care for!

Bandit, the retired cow dog on the ranch, still keeps on eye on everything happening. One night, he sees Mary sneak out to give her new horse some carrots. The next day, when the horses are missing because the gate was left open, grandpa is very upset. Thinking it was a forgetful cowhand, grandpa is close to firing him, but Bandit knows the truth and so does Mary.

How I Felt:

I found this book to be a delightful story that captured a child’s actions perfectly. Children are often forgetful and accidents happen. I liked that Bandit was there with Mary, acting as a conscience for her as she considered her options. The story shows Mary’s guilt over what happened and her struggle with deciding to make the right choice or not.

The author, Phil Mills Jr. did a great job showing a child’s emotions. I really appreciated that he also wrote about the adults reactions. They were fair and understanding of the accident, but still gave a consequence for Mary that would help her learn from her mistakes.

Overall, I thought this was a well-written and easily understandable story for children.

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend Bandit the Cow Dog for all children. I thought this was a wonderful way to convey action and consequences and is a good example for all kids.

Where to Find This Book:

Bandit the Cow Dog by Phil Mills Jr. is available at these sites.

Bookshop | Amazon | Mascot Books


Spending her summer on the western ranch of her grandparents was a new and thrilling chance for ten-year-old Mary Andrews. Used to living in the city, Mary discovers that being around horses and cattle every day was a vastly new experience. Having to do routine farm chores like gathering eggs and keeping track of her dog Princess was also a revelation. She found it difficult to just make her bed and keep her clothes picked up, let alone caring for an entire menagerie!

But Mary’s life takes a major turn when she is given her first horse. Mary, having never ridden before, finds that there is a lot she still needs to learn. Luckily, Bandit, the ranch cow dog, is there to help her. Bandit may be retired, but he still loves herding foul and trying to contain the ranch cats. Mary will soon find that having a horse is extremely different from having a dog, as horse ownership comes with important responsibilities that she will soon discover along with her new friend, Bandit the cow dog.

Just the Facts:

Bandit the Cow Dog by Phil Mills Jr.
Illustrator: Jeanne Conway
Genre: Children’s
Page Count: 38 pages
Publisher: Mascot Books
Pub Date: June 2, 2020


I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

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