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Last Modified: April 5, 2022
Red Barn Books celebrates Flores LaDue with children's book and letter-writing campaign
Red Barn Books celebrates Flores LaDue

Carstairs, Alberta-based publisher Red Barn Books is launching their newest children’s book, Howdy, I’m Flores LaDue, on Tuesday, March 8, in honour of International Women’s Day! 

Flores LaDue book cover imageThe book, written for children ages six to ten, recounts the real-life story of Flores LaDue (1883-1951), a world champion trick roper and co-founder of the Calgary Stampede. It’s the newest book in their “Howdy Books” series of children’s books about Alberta’s pioneers.

They’ll be drawing attention to Flores’ contribution to Alberta history with a school event at the Calgary Public Library on March 8th that already has 230 classrooms registered.

Plus, they’re engaging students in a “Pencil Brigade” school letter-writing campaign to get Flores LaDue inducted into two Canadian Sports Halls of Fame. The campaign is inspired by the work of Wild Horse Annie, a rancher in the U.S. who started a letter-writing campaign in the 1950s that led to new laws being enacted to protect wild mustangs from slaughter in the U.S. Anyone can participate in the Pencil Brigade, and the letter template and further info can be found in the Howdy Books Activity Kit here.

Excerpted page from Howdy, I'm Flores LaDue (Red Barn Books)
At less than five feet tall, Flores could rope five galloping horses in one throw (Excerpt from ‘Howdy, I’m Flores LaDue’ provided courtesy of Red Barn Books)

“For too long, Flores has remained in the shadow of her famous husband Guy Weadick,” says author Ayesha Clough, a former journalist who founded Red Barn Books to create more content about Western Canada, especially for kids.

 “It’s time we honoured her remarkable cowgirl spirit, her achievements in the sport of rodeo, and of course, the legacy of the Calgary Stampede, which is still going strong 110 years after it was founded,” Clough added.

Keegan Starlight and Hugh Rookwood author photos
Keegan Starlight and Hugh Rookwood. (Photo credit: Ratna Wynne. Images provided courtesy of Red Barn Books)

Howdy, I’m Flores LaDue also features a special art collaboration between Airdrie-based comic book artist Hugh Rookwood and Tsuut’ina artist Keegan Starlight, whose family have been Tipi Owners since the very first Stampede in 1912.

“My great-grandfather rode in the 1912 parade, and my family is still very involved,” says Starlight, “so it was very special to represent Treaty 7 members who have been a part of the Stampede for generations now.”

The first book in the “Howdy Books” series was Howdy, I’m John Ware, and won ‘Children’s Book of the Year’ in the Alberta Book Publishing Awards and the Heritage Calgary ‘Heritage Storytelling Award’ in Fall of 2021. Howdy, I’m Flores LaDue shows that Red Barn Books continues to celebrate historical figures from Alberta’s history who have been traditionally sidelined and whose stories are more relevant than ever.

Excerpt from Howdy, I'm Flores LaDue (Red Barn Books)
Flores LaDue and the other rodeo queens who made history at the Calgary Stampede. (Excerpt from ‘Howdy, I’m Flores LaDue’ provided courtesy of Red Barn Books)


Howdy, I'm Flores LaDue

Ayesha Clough (CA)

Published: Mar 08, 2022 by Red Barn Books
ISBN: 9781989915042
Howdy, I’m John Ware

Ayesha Clough (CA)

Published: Jun 01, 2020 by Red Barn Books
ISBN: 9781999108786