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Blue Horse
     

Blue Horse

by Helen Stephens
 

A reassuring story about putting aside shyness to make new friends --- imaginary and real.

Tilly is the new girl in town, which isn't much fun if you are shy and have no one to play with. Then Tilly meets Blue Horse. They fly to the moon, romp to the Wild West, and go to the theater (where Tilly isn't scared, even the scariest scary parts). Then Tilly sees a girl

Overview

A reassuring story about putting aside shyness to make new friends --- imaginary and real.

Tilly is the new girl in town, which isn't much fun if you are shy and have no one to play with. Then Tilly meets Blue Horse. They fly to the moon, romp to the Wild West, and go to the theater (where Tilly isn't scared, even the scariest scary parts). Then Tilly sees a girl playing all alone -- she wants to say hello but thinks she's too shy. When Blue Horse gives her a nudge, Tilly is delighted to find that this new girl also has an imaginary friend! In this reassuring story, a little bit of imagination and a big heart go a long way toward making new friends of all kinds!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Tilly finds that it's not easy being shy and a new kid in town, "so she stayed inside and played all by herself." But her strategy has its drawbacks: "When she played soccer... no one kicked the ball back." Things look up considerably when Tilly's stuffed toy Blue Horse reveals it can talk. The two embark on fun-filled games of pretend that shore up Tilly's confidence and make the most of Stephens's (I'm Too Busy) na f-styled, pastel illustrations. In one spread, Tilly and Blue Horse imagine they are brave in the face of a monster movie; Stephens creates a stylized dragon from cut-out paper, then fills it in with broad brushstrokes of bright green that look as if they've been applied as finger-paint. The anxiety so effectively conveyed in Tilly's tiny eyes throughout the opening pages evaporates in these flights of fancy, and it takes only a little nudging from Blue Horse for her to talk to a solitary girl she spots outside her window (who, as it turns out, is keeping company with a make-believe friend of her own). A final playground scene brims with kids and their "special friends"-including a seesawing ghost and a giant soccer-playing rabbit. A pleasing statement about imagination as a source of comfort and courage. Ages 2-5. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This is a charming story about a shy little girl named Tilly who moves to a new neighborhood and does not know how to make any friends. Large illustrations capture the frustration and disappointment of our heroine, who uses her imagination, but no one comes to seek her when she hides or kicks the ball back in soccer. One day she throws a tea party and asks her blue stuffed horse if he would like "one lump or two?" He replies. Sugar without tea is what he would like best. The best friends travel to the moon and to the Wild West, conquering every challenge. So when they see a girl alone at the park, Tilly remembers her shyness, and with encouragement from Blue Horse, makes a friend. This will be a useful book for anyone who works with a shy child, and Blue Horse will be a comfort to that child as well. 2003 (orig. 2001), Scholastic Press,
— Candace Deisley
School Library Journal
PreS-K-Tilly is too shy to make friends in her new town, so Blue Horse, her stuffed toy, becomes her playmate. After their many wonderful adventures together, she spots another girl alone on the playground and Blue Horse encourages her to reach out to her. Pip agrees to be friends-if her doll can be part of the fun. In the reassuring concluding page, Tilly is surrounded by other children and their imaginary playmates, including fairies, a cowboy, a ghost, and 'gators. The childlike artwork features bold swatches of color and an exuberant informality that Stephens uses to advantage in her story. The pages are suffused with purples and blues when Tilly is lonely or playing with Blue Horse. When she joins the children, the palette lightens and brightens with greens and other colors. The full-bleed spreads are filled with varying perspectives and capture a child's longing for friendship. The straightforward text works both for group sharing or independent reading. Those who have had imaginary friends will find a kindred spirit in Tilly.-Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha's Public Library, WI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A tender-hearted tale about overcoming the pangs of social anxiety. Having just moved to town, Tilly gazes longingly at the children in the playground but is too shy to approach them. She learns that playing such favorite childhood games as hide-and-seek is not much fun solo. However, with judicious use of her imagination, she soon discovers a special playmate of her own. A stuffed, blue horse becomes her companion. With the ingenuity of youth, Tilly has lively interactions with her special friend, sharing many conversations and adventures together. When Tilly spies a girl playing alone on the playground, her bond with the blue horse bolsters her confidence, enabling her to seek out a new friend. Stephens's (The Quigleys, 2002, etc.) empathetic tale is on target for preschoolers. She compassionately addresses the trials of bashfulness and models simple coping strategies that are appropriate for small fry. Young readers can readily identify with Tilly's dilemma and will appreciate her imaginative solution. The full-bleed illustrations are densely colored in a myriad of vibrant hues: Tilly's teal and purple room with its sunshine yellow door is a perfect haven for a child. In her expressive paintings, Stephens deftly segues into the fantasy sequences with ease, using items that were already in Tilly's room to inspire her subsequent flights of fancy. This warmly reassuring tale is ideal to share with hesitant little ones. (Picture book. 2-5)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439431781
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
02/05/2003
Edition description:
1 AMER ED
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.40(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD250L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

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