Finnegan is a horse. But he is not just any horse. Finnegan is a proud member of the New York City Police Department. He and his human partner, Officer T. J. Fox, are part of the NYPD Mounted Unit. Together they make one ten-foot cop! Each morning, after roll call, Finnegan and T. J. take to the streets, a familiar and welcome sight to the people who live in the area. Times Square is their beat and it's a busy one. More than one million people move through it every day, from New Yorkers on their way to work to ...
Finnegan is a horse. But he is not just any horse. Finnegan is a proud member of the New York City Police Department. He and his human partner, Officer T. J. Fox, are part of the NYPD Mounted Unit. Together they make one ten-foot cop! Each morning, after roll call, Finnegan and T. J. take to the streets, a familiar and welcome sight to the people who live in the area. Times Square is their beat and it's a busy one. More than one million people move through it every day, from New Yorkers on their way to work to the thousands of tourists who visit the popular area. It would be very easy to get lost in this rushing crowd. One day, as Finnegan and T. J. move through a fairly routine day, that's exactly what happens to one little girl. And it's Finnegan to the rescue!
It’s a classic New York City buddy-cop story, but one of the officers is 10 years old, weighs more than 1,200 pounds, and has four hooves. Wilbur (F Is for Friend-ship: A Quilt Alphabet) offers a lighthearted tribute to the NYPD’s Mounted Unit, with seen-it-all narration provided by a horse named Finnegan, who patrols Times Square with his partner, Tyrone Jefferson Fox. Despite some wisecracking comments (“Not everyone feels comfortable around a police officer. People can be annoying. But who doesn’t like a horse?”), it’s clear Finnegan takes his job seriously. And after a day spent greeting tourists and neighborhood regulars, he gets a chance to prove his mettle by finding a lost girl. Manders (Cowboy Christmas), working in gouache and pencil, is in fine form, capturing the energy and diversity of the city in his bustling cartoons, as well as the story’s emotional highs and lows—the shadowy blue alley that the lost girl winds up in looks truly scary, and seeing Finnegan the hero’s image on the giant signs of Times Square makes for a fittingly triumphant conclusion. Ages 6–8. (Feb.)
- Caroline Moore
Finnegan is not your typical cop. He is ten-feet tall and covered with hair. This horse spends his days on the streets of New York City with his partner Officer, T. J. Fox. This dynamic duo typically write tickets, greet friends, and mingle with fans, but one day headquarters calls on them to find a missing little girl, Maggie before the sun goes down. Wilbur does an excellent job of portraying the duties of an officer in the New York City Police Department’s mounted unit while incorporating the diversity and culture of this big city. Manders’ illustrations, vibrantly colored images, give readers a breadth of adventures within the hustle and bustle of life in New York City. Readers will enjoy being taken along on Finnegan’s galloping travels. Reviewer: Caroline Moore; Ages 5 to 8.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Finnegan, a horse, and his partner, Officer Fox, patrol the Times Square area of New York City as part of the NYPD Mounted Unit. While on duty, they stop to talk with street vendors, locals, and a group of children from Cheyenne, Wyoming. Finnegan is impressed with the students' knowledge of horses. One young girl in particular, Maggie, presses her head against Finnegan's face and pets his mane. Later that day, the partners get a call that a child is missing. Officer Fox dismounts to follow a lead. Finnegan breaks his trained behaviors and moves down an alley when he hears a rustling. There, he finds Maggie hiding in a box because she got separated from her group and became frightened when she heard so many strangers calling her name. Finnegan is a hero. He delights in the applause and cheers as he walks back through Times Square to see his name and picture on the digital news sign. The story is told by Finnegan and contains some excellent, horse-specific vocabulary and facts about the Mounted Unit in NYC. However, the book is long on text, and some elements of the story are extraneous to the central plot. The vivid illustrations capture the bustle of the Big Apple and the good-natured relationship that Finnegan and Officer Fox have with their city.—Lindsay Persohn, University of South Florida, Tampa