Julie Barker, Author Hitchin' Post Children's Book Series
"Hitchin' Post" is a fascinating first publication by a talented mother/daughter team, in the delightful form of a tall tale in verse, Southwestern Texas style. The humor, the drawling exaggeration, the tongue in cheek narrative, the vernacular all speak loudly of Texas and a beloved outdoor life there. Unlike other tall tale western heroes, Hitch is a long-eared, cowboy rabbit, of independent thinking. Hitch does some musing about what it means to be rich, and to lead a good life. Hitch lives on a ranch called Six B's, where he helps all the cowboys with the daily work of a big ranch. "Hitchin' Post" traces the highlights of a year on the ranch from Hitch's unique viewpoint. Every season, even the drought time, has its special moments and scenic rewards. Although Hitch was sad to see the water sources dry up and the cattle transported away, seeing the pump jacks drilling for water gives him hope for the future. Sure enough, a very dry summer eventually turned to fall, then winter, and in spring the rains came again and also in the fall. Soon the cattle returned, a sore sight for Hitch's eyes. Now there were barn dances, rodeos, followed by winter work and care for the stock. Spring brings more rain for lakes and streams, helping Hitch and the cattle and cowboys lead the life of their dreams. All the expressive, delicately drawn illustrations portray a dusty cowboy rabbit's ideal life, as Hitch concludes: "It's the big and the small and all the in-between that should make you feel the richest of rich!" "Hitchin' Post" is a tribute to a ranching heritage and way of life that will appeal to young readers age 4 and up. - The Picturebook Shelf - Midwest Book Review
Hard work and the cowboy life on the 6B's Ranch is nothing new to old jackrabbit Hitchin' Post. As he watches his beloved ranch go through a terrible drought, Hitch begins to look at life in a different way. He learns that despite challenges, there is always something to be thankful for. "Hitchin' Post", written by Julie Barker and illustrated by Carolyn Altman, is a unique and impressively entertaining read for children from beginning to end. While very highly recommended for family, school, and community library collections, and all the more impressive considering that "Hitchin' Post" marks Julie's debut into the world of children's literature, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Hitchin' Post" is also available in a paperback edition ($18.99). - Andrea Kay Reviewer - Midwest Book Review
Hitch is a cowhand with really long ears. His ears are so long they go down to his knees and they were the reason behind his nickname, Hitchin’ Post. You see, Hitch is actually a jackrabbit, but he is also a very competent cowhand on 6B’s Ranch. Hitch enjoys his life on the ranch; he likes his work. But when he overhears other cowhands commenting that they will never get rich working on the ranch, Hitch starts to look around him and realize that his riches are not the monetary kind and he is quite content with what he has. It’s a good place to work; Hitch has good friends amongst the cowhands; he likes being outdoors; and he enjoys being around the animals. When the summer heat becomes so dry that the water disappears, the cattle are transported elsewhere for preservation. Hitch is so happy when the fall season brings rains and the return of the cattle. There is so much on the ranch for Hitch to enjoy and he is content with his life.
Julie Barker’s picture book story, Hitchin’ Post, is a clever story told in rhyme. It is geared towards young readers, but the message it carries is very important to people of all ages: be happy with what you have. Wealth is not something that can be measured in coin, but rather something that makes us feel complete, content, happy and healthy. Hitch has all of those things and he realizes that he doesn’t need money to be wealthy. As the author writes in her ending: “It’s the big and the small and all the in-between/ that should make you feel the richest of rich!” Wonderfully told with beautiful, rustic illustrations. Reviewed By Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite