Those horses didn't sleep one bit.
They frolicked on the loose.

They joined in games like Hide-n-Seek,
Leapfrog, and Duck, Duck, Goose.

"So this is why you snooze all day. I thougth I told you NO HORSEPLAY!"

When his stubborn horses insist on playing games all night ...

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Those horses didn't sleep one bit.
They frolicked on the loose.

They joined in games like Hide-n-Seek,
Leapfrog, and Duck, Duck, Goose.

"So this is why you snooze all day. I thougth I told you NO HORSEPLAY!"

When his stubborn horses insist on playing games all night instead of sleeping, one determined farmer wears himself out trying to change their habits.

Told in clever rhyming verse throughout, Horseplay will engage parents and kids alike as they follow mischievous horses who just won't go to bed

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Hogwash! (2011), a farmer battled a pig mutiny; this time, a different farmer wonders why his horses are always so tired. Hiding in the barn one night, he discovers the answer: “The horses shuffled decks of cards,/ and passed out poker chips./ They handed out some veggie trays,/ and seven-layer dips!” McMullan’s watercolors enhance the absurdity of his grinning, bucktoothed horses’ nighttime activities by coloring the animals in shades of purple, blue, and rose. Readers will happily side with these fun-loving equines over the grouchy farmer. Ages 3–6. Agent: Steven Malk, Writer House. Illustrator’s agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (June)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Baffled and worried by his sleepy horses, a farmer does a little late-night snooping only to find them up playing games. "Those horses didn't sleep one bit./They frolicked on the loose./They joined in games like Hide-and-Seek,/Leapfrog, and Duck, Duck, Goose." The rhyming text keeps the story energized while the farmer tries multiple unsuccessful strategies to get his animals to sleep at night. Bright and watery cartoon illustrations feel a bit dreamlike and feature mischievous horses in pastel colors. This is a fun and lively addition to the canon of stories where the animals get the best of their frustrated owners.—Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
It's not called horseplay for nothing. Farmer is the unhappy owner of a "worthless bunch" of horses that sleep all day. What gives with these narcoleptic nags, he wonders, so he hides out that night to spy on them, discovering the horses spend the night monkeying around--call it horseplay, with the emphasis on play. Wilson's rhymed text is just as merry as her subjects: "Those horses didn't sleep one bit. / They frolicked on the loose. / They joined in games like Hide-and-Seek, / Leapfrog, and Duck, Duck, Goose." But her Farmer is a killjoy, ready to throw his wet blanket on the herd for some reason; surely he doesn't want them to work for their oats. Night after night the horses thwart his party-pooping, until finally he stops the horseplay by staying up all night, which makes him one of those worthless types that sleep all day. The mood here is of subversive festivity, with a rolling, melodious pleasure to the words and a gratifying, easy quality to McMullan's artwork, with its 1950s feel and eye-comforting colors. The horses even learn that a good night's sleep doesn't cut into their horseplay. A solid and gleeful dose of ridiculousness. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316938426
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 6/5/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 581,727
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Karma Wilson

Karma Wilson is the author of the New York Times best-sellers Bear Snores On and Bear Wants More, both illustrated by Jane Chapman. She lives just outside of Bonners Ferry, Idaho.

Jim McMullan is an internationally acclaimed children's book illustrator and Broadway poster designer.

They previously collaborated on Hogwash.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Robin Clark for Readers Favorite Early one morning

    Reviewed by Robin Clark for Readers Favorite

    Early one morning on the farm, Farmer comes out to his barns to begin his workday. He brings the horses out to hook them up but they are so tired that they keep falling asleep. All during the day he wonders what could have kept them awake all night. He decides to stay awake that night to watch. He learns that the horses are up all night engaging in pure horseplay. The next day, it is the farmer who is too tired to work. Open the book and take a look at the funny antics of a bunch of mischievous horses and one very determined farmer.

    "Horseplay" by Karma Wilson is a wonderfully written tale that is absolutely delightful. It tickled every bone in my three year old's body. She marveled at the silly games the horses played and reveled in the mischief they conjured up. Imagine horses playing leap frog and poker, eating veggies and seven-layer dips. It is all here, plus more antics than you can shake a hoof at. The pages are also full of the most adorable illustrations by Jim McMullan. The horses are drawn with very animated faces, reminiscent of my childhood, spent in front of the TV watching Hee-Haw. The surrounding trees, barn and other barnyard animals are drawn with great humor and delight. Farmer is brought to life as a robust man in red checkered flannel, jeans and boots, and don’t forget the suspenders. I was truly entertained with this delightful tale written by Karma Wilson. Two enthusiastic thumbs up!

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