Horses of Myth

Horses of Myth

by Gerald Hausman, Robert Florczak, Loretta Hausman, Robert Florczak, Loretta Hausman
     
 
The five stories in this handsome book pay homage to the noble animal that has carried humans through history. In lively tales that vary in tone to reflect different cultures, the Hausmans introduce the brave Arabian, the hardy American mustang, a magic humpbacked horse from Russia, a ghostchasing horse from Tahiti, and the heroic Karabair of ancient Armenia. Robert

Overview

The five stories in this handsome book pay homage to the noble animal that has carried humans through history. In lively tales that vary in tone to reflect different cultures, the Hausmans introduce the brave Arabian, the hardy American mustang, a magic humpbacked horse from Russia, a ghostchasing horse from Tahiti, and the heroic Karabair of ancient Armenia. Robert Florczak also uses a variety of styles to capture each country and breed in his arresting paintings. Together, authors and artist have created a distinguished, highly entertaining tribute to those racers and jumpers, warriors and carriers, healers and stealers of the human heart.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Horse lovers will delight in this collection of stories about five horses possessing mythical strength and power. The first story of an Arabian, "Abjer, the Horse of the Saharan Sands," dates back to The Thousand and One Nights. In "Snail, the Horse of the American Plains" a mustang that mostly lived up to its name is memorialized in a legend about a famous horse race. "Humpy, the Horse of the Russian Steppes" is a variation of "The Firebird and Princess Vasilisa," in which a Mongolian Pony performs magic and can change its shape. The Hausmans recount Gauguin's struggle with ghosts in Tahiti and the Timor who saved him in "Ghost Chaser, the Horse of the Tahitian Shadows." The last story, that of a Karabair horse of Central Asia, presents a part of the folk epic of the Armenian people, the tale of David of Sassoun. The writing style for each of these stories reflects the culture in which it was told and is as varied as the tales and the horses. The illustrations reflect the art styles of the cultures, thereby taking the reading visually and imaginatively to other times and other places. These stories make fine read alouds. There are notes on the stories and the writers' sources, as well as a note from the illustrator about his work. 2005, Dutton Children's Books/Penguin, Ages 8 to 12.
—Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-These five tales each feature a different type of horse, remarkable for both its individuality and the qualities representative of its breed. In each case, the animal plays an important-or even life-changing-role in the existence of its human owner (or, perhaps better, partner). For example, Humpy, a magical Mongolian Pony of Russian legend, not only gives the much-disdained daughter of a cruel man an opportunity to teach her father and brothers an important lesson, but also to marry a prince-the horse in his true form. The exploits of Snail, a completely lethargic mustang that becomes a powerhouse when he catches sight of cabbage, are appropriately related in the tone of an American tall tale. A piece taken from Paul Gauguin's Tahitian journals creates a strikingly mysterious air when the painter, perched upon a Timor, explores a haunted pool. Florczak's illustrations adapt characteristics appropriate to the locations and time periods of each selection's origins: from the stylized, almost lacquered look of the tales from Asia to the rich tropics suggestive of Gauguin to the comical cowboy in "The Mustang." The Hausmans include afterwords and acknowledgments, giving more information about the backgrounds of the stories and their approach to writing them. This is an attractive volume, useful to teachers and librarians for read-alouds and of interest to horse-loving youngsters.-Coop Renner, Hillside Elementary, El Paso, TX Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Husband-and-wife storytellers team up to present five short stories of mythical horses from storytelling traditions around the world: An Arabian horse tale from the 14th century; the story of Snail, a mustang race horse from the American west; Humpy, a magical Mongolian pony; Timor, Paul Gauguin's ghost horse; and Kourkig, an Armenian Karabair. The stories are well researched, with notes on their sources, but not well told. The authors' inconsistent efforts to match the voice of each story with its origin results in sentences that sound like bad parodies: "Okey-dokey, Doc, you hold Snail's halter, but you better let go kind of quicklike when I git to that big fallen tree over yonder"-and all of the stories are too long. They seem to be primarily stories of people who rode horses, rather than stories about the horses themselves; the horses stay on the outside, not the center. Uneven, but passable. (Fiction. 9-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525469643
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
10/20/2005
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 9.74(h) x 0.59(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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