Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
This entertaining and engaging rhyming text introduces young children to the world of horses: how they act and are cared for, the kinds of work they perform, and which breeds are popular. The watercolor-and-colored-pencil illustrations render a softness and gentleness to the horses. The various tack and saddles are prominent but not overwhelming. Sharp-eyed children will take note of the differences. Each turn-of-the-page offers a new and interesting viewpoint or role for a horse. It is likely that this book will convert many children into horse lovers. Those who already are will want this read over and over. It is perfect for an early primary grade unit on working animals or farm animals. Beginning readers can master the text if they receive a little help on a few words. With its brief text and large illustrations, it is also recommended for preschool storytime. This attractive and satisfying book will be a popular item. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—A simple, rhyming text introduces readers to horses-the different breeds, their abilities in providing transportation, and all else they do. "Police ride horses on their beats,/clip-clop-clop down city streets….They swim a stream./Jump a wall./Gallop after a polo ball." The animals are depicted working on farms, eating, and being cared for. Lovely, action-packed illustrations done in watercolors and colored pencils highlight the different hues and patterns found on the horses' coats. White space is generously used to highlight scenes with jockeys racing horses and children enjoying riding. Other pages show horses decorated in circus and parade regalia, which will resonate with many youngsters who have not been exposed to their important presence and work on a farm. One enchanting spread illustrates horses pulling a red sled with smiling children through a snow-filled Christmas scene. This is an excellent addition for any collection, and it will extend knowledge about transportation that isn't man-made.—Anne Beier, Clifton Public Library, NJ
Rollicking rhyming couplets keep the pages turning as readers learn how to care for a horse and the many jobs that horses help humans complete in this latest from Hubbell.
"Clean their stall! Fill their pails! / Brush their bodies, manes, and tails! / Wipe their ears. Shine their feet. / Give them apples for a treat." From the tasks of caring for a horse, Hubbell goes on to describe the different colors horses can be and what they do. The real strength of this book, however, lies in its descriptions of how horses and people work together. Horses help cowboys herd cattle and farmers plow their fields. They perform in circuses and help police officers get around. Horses can haul wagons and sleighs, carry people, swim, jump and race. A final page presents 12 labeled thumbnails of popular horse breeds (including one that is a color rather than a true breed: palomino). Mathieu's watercolor-and-pencil artwork captures the beautiful lines of each horse. By contrast, the people are more cartoonish, making for a disparity that sometimes detracts from the scene as a whole.
Meant for the youngest audiences, this rough overview won't hold the interest of those who are already horse crazed, but it just may start the uninitiated down that path. (Informational picture book. 3-6)