My Daddy Is a Cowboy

A young girl and her father share an early morning horseback ride around their city in My Daddy Is a Cowboy, a picture book celebration of “just-us time,” perfect for fans of My Papi Has a Motorcycle.

Tall. High as the clouds.
Strong as a horse’s back.
Like a cowboy.

In the early hours before dawn, a young girl and her father greet their horses and ride together through the waking city streets. As they trot along, Daddy tells cowboy stories filled with fun and community, friendship, discovery, and pride. Seeing her city from a new vantage point and feeling seen in a new way, the child discovers that she too is a cowboy—strong and confident in who she is.

Thoughtfully and lyrically written by debut author Stephanie Seales, with vibrant illustrations from award-winning artist C. G. Esperanza, this beautiful picture book is a celebration of Black joy, outdoor play, and quality time spent between child and parent.

Praise for

My Daddy Is a Cowboy

"[Q]uiet yet energetic...Vibrant colors and abstract design embellishments convey the immense pleasure and freedom felt by both father and child as they connect over horseback riding. A magical celebration of family, freedom, and Black joy."

—Kirkus (read the full review here!)

"Together, the creators expertly capture the open feel of early morning alongside the beauty of one-on-one time in this visually immersive story about a child whose “Daddy is a cowboy.... And so am I.”"

Publishers Weekly (read the full review here!)

"Saddle up for the absolute joyride... Through a seamless melding of lyrical text and high-spirited full-bleed illustrations... A blue-ribbon pick for both story time and home use, sure to delight cowboys both real and imagined."


“There is so much to love about My Daddy Is a Cowboy, a gorgeous book... Readers can look at their faces and call to mind someone they love dearly, remembering all the times they shared together over something special and intimate—something for ‘just us’. This book hits all the high points of Black cowboy culture and will be a must-have on the shelf.”


"My Daddy is a Cowboy" moved me deeply and instantly. Like visiting an old childhood memory, Seales' poignant words and Esperanza's vivid illustrations transported me to a place of joy, magic and nostalgia. It's a beautiful story about connection -- with family, with place, with community and with loyal companions. This book will touch and bring joy to so many people of all ages at a time when joy feels hard to come by."

 Erica Tso Haidas, Owner, Belonging Books

"A absolutely gorgeous story of a girl and her dad's early morning ride through their city. Inspired by the the real-life Compton Cowboys, Seales has imagined a ride with one such cowboy and his daughter, as told from her perspective. The story is so lovely, with the girl's wonder and awe during the ride shared so keenly, from the sounds of the birds to the brightening sky, and the familiarity of her town from a new perspective. Esperanza's illustrations, which never fail to stun, are incredibly vibrant and full of motion. I loved everything about this story, and particularly the references to Panamanian culture which reflect the author's background. A wonderful father-daughter story, for horse lovers of any age, and just a visual treat for all readers."

Tildy Lutts, Store Manager and Children's Book & Gift Buyer, Belmont Books

“C.G. Esperanza's art is irresistible—textured and dreamy—coupled with Stephanie Seales' intentional and evocative words. COWBOY's text is as electrifying as it is peaceful; as brilliant in color as Esperanza's bold palette.”

— J.P. Takahashi, Author of Tokyo Night Parade

My Daddy is a Cowboy is a quiet story of "just us" time between a father/daughter pair... Seales's captivating story trots at a leisurely pace, and is infused with rich, poetic language. Esperanza's delightful illustrations pop off of every page and perfectly capture the vibrant cityscape, while celebrating the joy the two riders radiate during their time together. Quietly powerful and visually stunning, My Daddy is a Cowboy will inspire readers (and cowboys!) of all ages.”

— Sara Hines, Co-owner and Children’s Book Buyer, Eight Cousins Books