Rosie's Magic Horse

( 2 )

Overview

If an ice-pop stick can dream of being a horse, what magic might follow? A fanciful tale by Russell Hoban, mischievously illustrated by Quentin Blake.

Once its icy sweetness is gone, a discarded ice-pop stick is lonely until young Rosie comes by and lays it in a cigar box with others like it. But this stick wants to be something! Meanwhile, just before bed, Rosie sees her parents worrying over their bills. That night, wishes intertwine when Rosie dreams of a horse named ...

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Overview

If an ice-pop stick can dream of being a horse, what magic might follow? A fanciful tale by Russell Hoban, mischievously illustrated by Quentin Blake.

Once its icy sweetness is gone, a discarded ice-pop stick is lonely until young Rosie comes by and lays it in a cigar box with others like it. But this stick wants to be something! Meanwhile, just before bed, Rosie sees her parents worrying over their bills. That night, wishes intertwine when Rosie dreams of a horse named Stickerino galloping out of the cigar box. "Where to?" he asks. "Anywhere with treasure!" says Rosie. A girl and a horse galloping over cities, jungles, and an icepop mountain leads up to a clever heist of a gold-filled pirate chest — and a happy ending at home — in this wildly imaginative adventure.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Pamela Paul
Sheer exuberance prevails in Rosie's Magic Horse, a delightful picture book, published posthumously, by Russell Hoban…Quentin Blake, best known for his contemporary illustrations of Roald Dahl's work, is a fine choice to complement Hoban's witty and original prose. His doodled ink-and-watercolor illustrations, rich with humor and whimsy, recall the work of William Steig. And the similarity is echoed in the offbeat text.
Publishers Weekly
Wishes come true with giddy frequency in this final picture book from Hoban, who died in 2011. A girl named Rosie picks up a discarded ice-pop stick and adds it to her collection, which she keeps in a cigar box. One magical midnight the ice-pop stick collection turns into Stickerino, a flying horse. Rosie longs to pay the mountain of bills that worries her father, and Stickerino takes Rosie over skyscrapers and across desert wastes to a secret pirate hideout full of treasure. Blake's pirates, goggle-eyed and snaggle-toothed, finger their loot with dopey smiles as Rosie and Stickerino approach. Hoban's signature wordplay adds fizz to the treasure-stealing caper. To distract the pirates, Stickerino "disguised himself as an ice-cream cart and jingled his ice-cream tune." When the pirates notice Rosie escaping with a chest of gold, Stickerino "uncarts" himself and turns into a swarm of ice-pop sticks, "stickling" the pirates until they fall about "laughing helplessly." It's the cascade of childhood fantasies fulfilled that make the story such a rousing success. Rosie outwits the pirates with no harm to anyone, saving her household in a single night ("Where did this come from?" her father asks, astonished, about the chest of gold on the kitchen table. "It was a long gallop," she says in response). She rides a magic creature who does her bidding without question ("Where to?" Stickerino asks her. "Anywhere there's treasure," Rosie replies. "No problem," he tells her). Blake collaborated with Hoban on the Whitbread-winning How Tom Beat Captain Najork and other titles, and his ink-and-watercolor drawings are as antic as ever. Rosie's house is cozy and lived-in, with old drawings on the wall, and toys and books crowding her dresser. The pirate scenes are crammed with cheerful chaos, and the light, weightlessness, and long horizons of Stickerino's flight make the impossible seem close. Hoban's books asked big questions, and the answers were sometimes murky and mournful, but this last one is a happy farewell salute. Ages 4â?“8. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
Blake collaborated with Hoban on the Whitbread-winning How Tom Beat Captain Najork and other titles, and his ink-and-watercolor drawings are as antic as ever. Rosie's house is cozy and lived-in, with old drawings on the wall, and toys and books crowding her dresser. The pirate scenes are crammed with cheerful chaos, and the light, weightlessness, and long horizons of Stickerino's flight make the impossible seem close. Hoban's books asked big questions, and the answers were sometimes murky and mournful, but this last one is a happy farewell salute.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Children's Literature - Carlee Hallman
Ice-pop sticks are the catalyst for Rosie's imagination to save her parents from debt. Rosie collects the sticks in a cigar box. As she goes to bed her parents are sitting at a table and worrying over unpaid bills. In bed, while playing with her ice-pop sticks, Rosie fashions a horse. When she falls asleep the horse comes to life. Rosie jumps on its back and flies to find treasure. The horse flies to an ice-pop mountain, but Rosie wants different treasure. They gallop to the other side of the mountain and see pirates with gold. The ice-pop horse becomes an ice-cream cart and attracts the pirates while Rosie runs off with a chest of treasure. The pirates give chase but the ice-cream cart changes back into ice-pop sticks and "stickles" the pirates until they are laughing helplessly. The ice-pops turn back into the horse, Rosie hops on, and they fly home. The next morning Rosie's dad finds a chest of gold on the table and wonders where it came from. Imagination skips from one idea to the next in this story to save Rosie's family. The payoff is the real treasure at the end. The line drawings painted in with color carry part of the fun. The difference between imagination and reality is left for others to explain. Reviewer: Carlee Hallman
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Rosie collects discarded ice-pop sticks and places them carefully in her cigar box. When the lid closes on them, they become animated and wish they could become a horse. At bedtime, Rosie takes them out to play, all the while wishing she could find a way to help her parents pay their bills. Instead she finds herself making a galloping horse out of the sticks and falls off to sleep. In her dreams she and a magical stick horse go off in search of a treasure. They finally find a group of pirates playing with their ill-gotten gains, and she and Stickerino bamboozle the thieves and make off with the plunder. When they return, a treasure chest of gold coins awaits Dad at the breakfast table. Hoban makes use of magical realism to create a story in which the ordinary and the extraordinary exist side by side. Rosie is a fine heroine intent only on helping her parents and her cigar-box sticks are eager for adventure. In the end, this is a satisfying partnership for all concerned. Blake's beguiling art has life and movement on every page and invites children to believe that they, too, are on a magical journey where anything can happen.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Kirkus Reviews
A little girl finds a discarded ice-pop stick, triggering a surprising adventure in this rib-tickling fantasy. When Rosie discovers a used ice-pop stick, she automatically adds it to the cigar box housing her collection of other ice-pop sticks. The other sticks whine they are "nothing" without their frozen confections, but the sassy new stick boldly asserts he could be something, "maybe a horse." At bedtime, Rosie wishes for a treasure chest to help her parents pay their bills while her fingers arrange the sticks into a horse shape. Midnight arrives, and Rosie awakens when a horse named "Stickerino" gallops out of the cigar box, promising to take her where there's treasure. Rosie and Stickerino fly over cities, jungles, oceans and deserts until they arrive at an ice-pop mountain, where Stickerino "stickles" some pirate toughs while Rosie grabs a treasure chest. Next morning, Rosie presents her amazed father with a chest of gold while the sticks recover from their adventure. Blake's sprightly, quirky signature ink-and-watercolor illustrations vibrate with playfulness and humor as they transport Rosie and Stickerino from their mundane urban world across color-washed pages to a rainbow-hued ice-pop mountain populated with rascally pirates, hilariously tickled into submission by empowered ice-pop sticks. It's an exuberant reminder to dream big, although, sadly, Hoban's text has been Americanized, losing some of its flavor. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763664008
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 2/26/2013
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 506,197
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.56 (w) x 11.14 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Russell Hoban (1925–2011) once described himself as "an addict to writing" and wrote more than fifty books for children, including such classics as Bedtime for Frances, How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired Sportsmen, and The Sea-Thing Child. He was also the author of many acclaimed novels for adults, including Turtle Diary and Riddley Walker.

Quentin Blake was the very first British Children’s Laureate. He has won numerous awards for his books and is best-known for his work with Roald Dahl. His books with Candlewick include Michael Rosen’s Sad Book and Bananas in My Ears, both by Michael Rosen, and On Angel Wings by Michael Morpurgo. Quentin Blake lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 15, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Fairy tale AND pirates!

    This book is about a little girl, Rosie, who wants to help her mom and dad pay bills. She has a popsicle stick collection, and when she dreams they come to life to help her solve the family problem. One of the best things about the book is that the girl wants to help out her parents. My parents are always helping me out, and it is nice to see the girl being able to help back.

    My favorite part of the story is when a horse leads Rosie to a treasure of ice cream pops. It is treasure and probably tasty, but it is not the kind she needed to solve her problem. Still, ice cream is my favorite kind of treasure!

    I liked that the story didn’t rhyme, because it felt more grown up. I loved the watercolor drawings, and that the words were printed nice and big so my mom could see them.
    I would recommend this book to other kids because it is a nice fairy tale, which girls like, and it has pirates in it, which boys would like. I think all kids in grades pre-Kindergarten through 4th grade would think it is a fun book. Overall, I give the book 5 stars.

    Review by Lucy H., age 5, Tampa Bay Mensa

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

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