Jim Rhoden has spent his career managing real estate, but he has long been an avid storyteller. The protagonists of the first book of The Adventures of Cowboy Little and Cowboy Small series, The Mystery of the Lost Map, were born when he began creating riveting bedtime stories for his own little ones. While Cowboy Little and Cowboy Small’s sense of adventure enthralled his children and later his grandchildren, Rhoden also told his stories with the intention of teaching a broader lesson
“My hope is to encourage independence and creative thinking in my young readers so they can assess a problem and figure out a way to solve it themselves,” he explains.
The Mystery of the Lost Map does exactly that as the reader is lassoed into the world of Cowboy Little and Cowboy Small, two feisty, headstrong brothers who can’t get enough of exploring with their horses Ned and Ted, their dogs Red and Fred, their fleas Itch and Scratch, and their cattle Brawny Bull and Helen Heifer. When the boys wander beyond the fences of Circle R Ranch, they stumble upon old saddlebags filled with gold coins and a strange map. It’s up to them to solve the mystery of where these coins came from and where the rest of the treasure lies while facing menacing foes and working with loyal friends along the way.
Not only will children and the young at heart be captivated by stories that harken back to the simplicity and excitement of the Wild West, but they will also be charmed by themes of bravery, justice, and the freedom to explore the great outdoors and every adventure this world has to offer. The Mystery of the Lost Map is perfect for parents who want to spark their child’s curiosity and independence, but also for any adult who wants a taste of wonder and good ole cowboy fun.
This article originally appeared in our April issue of EAST COBBER, on page 14. Click here to view the digital edition.