Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Horace is adopted. He is also spotted, and he is loved and cared for by his new mother and father--who are striped. But, as is frequently the case with adopted children who are ``different'' (``My spots are silly. . . and I'm all the wrong colors''), Horace feels the need to search out his roots. And although he does find a brood that resembles him physically, it is not a family that truly loves him. Once again, Keller ( Goodbye, Max ; Henry's Happy Birthday ) deals with a sensitive subject in a way that is perceptive but not sentimental. Her text is suitably straightforward: ``We liked your spots, and we wanted you to be our child,'' says Mama in her customary bedtime story. The bright, boldly colored illustrations feature a lively animal cast and numerous amusing details, such as cat's-paw slippers beside Horace's bed. Youngsters will love Horace as they absorb his subtle message; even parents may find a small lump in their throats. Ages 4-up. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Horace is a leopard adopted by tigers. Horace notices that he is different. He has spots and his mother and father have stripes. He heads off to find his family, only to eventually return to those who love him and whom he loves. It is a excellent treatement of a difficult issue, and will let kids and families talk openly about adoption. The story also offers lots of loving reassurance.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-- An adoption fable that has attractive, simple drawings in pen and watercolor; humor; and a graceful incorporation of several complex themes. Leopard-spotted Horace has tiger-striped parents, and he experiences the normal feelings of adopted children who do not look like their parents. Once or twice he wishes for different parents, and he has trouble accepting his looks. He decides to find a family where he belongs, and runs off to the park. There Horace makes friends with a kind family who look just like him, and who invite him to come with them. He realizes he wants to return to his own home and his own parents. Adults should be prepared to explain the part of the story in which Horace is told that he ``lost'' his first family, a word open to interpretation by preschoolers. Most adoption stories for young children use photos or drawings in a documentary or didactic way. Keller's use of appealing animal characters in a fictional tale is a welcome approach. --Anna Biagioni Hart, Sherwood Regional Library, Alexandria, VA