Race the Wild Wind: A Story of the Sable Island Horses

Overview

From acclaimed science writer Sandra Markle comes a fascinating survival story about the wild horses of Sable Island. During a shipwreck, a young stallion leads a band of horses to safety on an arc of golden land-Sable Island, off the coast of Nova Scotia. In gorgeously illustrated panoramic views, readers will see how the herd quickly adapted to harsh winters before the warmth of spring brought new life and new foals. But when a severe summer storm puts the horses in danger once again, only by racing the wild ...

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Overview

From acclaimed science writer Sandra Markle comes a fascinating survival story about the wild horses of Sable Island. During a shipwreck, a young stallion leads a band of horses to safety on an arc of golden land-Sable Island, off the coast of Nova Scotia. In gorgeously illustrated panoramic views, readers will see how the herd quickly adapted to harsh winters before the warmth of spring brought new life and new foals. But when a severe summer storm puts the horses in danger once again, only by racing the wild wind can they survive the trials of nature in their new home.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
In the mid-1700's, a group of horses is put ashore on Sable Island near Nova Scotia. Markle chooses this actual event on which to base her dramatic story of what happens to these horses. In particular, she highlights a young stallion that "races with the wind." During the first bitter winter, the stallion claims the mares left when their old stallion dies. When the warmth and new life of spring arrives, foals are born. The stallion keeps watch for danger. He meets and defeats the challenge of a bachelor stallion. During a terrible storm in the next winter, the stallion herds the horses to safer high ground. They survive and thrive. Visualized as a romantic tale in long horizontal sweeps, Johnson's oil paints add to the intensity of the naturalistic characters and events. The emotional content of the story is emphasized. There is a map on the decorative end pages. The author has added notes on the historical background and on horses; a list of added resources on wild horses around the world is also included. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews

On Sable Island, off the Nova Scotia coast, a young stallion finds a home and his own band of wild horses, surviving in spite of winter storms and even hurricanes.

Unlike the horses on Assateague and other U.S. barrier islands, the Sable Island herd of 300 has been left completely wild, protected by the Canadian government since 1960.Markle here introduces them to young readers with an imagined story. Purposely dropped off from a schooner, perhaps in the mid-1700s, the young horse, possibly bred for racing, spends his first year with a group of "bachelors," learning to eat the sand- and ice-crusted marsh grass and to find water in frozen holes. Come spring, he finds a band of mares and takes over as leader, fending off a challenger and surviving a monster storm by taking his band to shelter between the dunes. This simple narrative has been illustrated with glowing oil paintings on double-page spreads. Every scene will delight. The animals are shown in a variety of postures and activities: rearing to challenge gray seals or each other, knee deep in a marsh full of flowers, in fog and snow, galloping free, running from a storm and facing the sunset.Children perplexed by the unexplained abandonment of the horse will find some clarification in the author's note; lists of books and websites complete the package.

Terrific for young horse lovers.(Picture book. 5-9)

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Approximately 300 wild horses live off the coast of Nova Scotia on Sable Island. There are no answers for how they got there, but Wild Wind is Markle's imagined story of how they might have survived. Rendered in oils, the realistic illustrations show the beauty and strength of the animals. Life on the island is revealed through the eyes of a young stallion. He's not used to facing snorting gray seals, eating grass, or running unshod, but he has adapted to his new surroundings. The chill of winter brings death to the island; spring brings new life. But no matter what the season, danger is on the stallion's mind. He challenges rivals and herds young colts and frantic horses back to safer grounds. The stallion is the hero of this book, but after reading the author's note, it's clear that all the horses on the island must have heroic qualities.—Tanya Boudreau, Cold Lake Public Library, AB, Canada
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Approximately 300 wild horses live off the coast of Nova Scotia on Sable Island. There are no answers for how they got there, but Wild Wind is Markle's imagined story of how they might have survived. Rendered in oils, the realistic illustrations show the beauty and strength of the animals. Life on the island is revealed through the eyes of a young stallion. He's not used to facing snorting gray seals, eating grass, or running unshod, but he has adapted to his new surroundings. The chill of winter brings death to the island; spring brings new life. But no matter what the season, danger is on the stallion's mind. He challenges rivals and herds young colts and frantic horses back to safer grounds. The stallion is the hero of this book, but after reading the author's note, it's clear that all the horses on the island must have heroic qualities.—Tanya Boudreau, Cold Lake Public Library, AB, Canada
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802797667
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 7/19/2011
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

SANDRA MARKLE is the award-winning author of more than sixty nonfiction books for young readers, including the illustrated picture book A Mother's Journey, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book, and How Many Baby Pandas?, an Orbis Pictus Honor Book.

LAYNE JOHNSON has illustrated more than a dozen picture books for children, including Off Like the Wind! and the acclaimed Farmer George Plants a Nation.

www.laynejohnson.com

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