Stable

Overview

There was a time when horses dominated every aspect of American life. Now Kensington Stables, just off Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, is one of the last remaining stables in New York City. This book is about that stable: its past, its present, and its uncertain future.

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Overview

There was a time when horses dominated every aspect of American life. Now Kensington Stables, just off Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, is one of the last remaining stables in New York City. This book is about that stable: its past, its present, and its uncertain future.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As he did in At Gleason's Gym, Lewin pays affectionate tribute to a Brooklyn landmark, this one a home for horses. After an opening spread depicts the stable more than a century ago, when "horses did just about everything," sepia-toned watercolors portray the animals pulling trolleys and other vehicles, even taking passengers to the beach. This period- flavored art gives way to crisp, four-color paintings as the narrative shifts to the present and the horses that live in Kensington Stables, "a living, breathing relic of a bygone era." Lewin's chatty prose summons the sounds and the sights of the stable, while underscoring its timelessness ("hooves clip clop on the pavement as they did a hundred years ago"). Yet its future is apparently in jeopardy--Lewin concludes with the image of neighboring high-rise buildings under construction, towering over the stable: "What will become of these horses and the people who love them if the wrecker's ball finally comes?" It's an ominous, elegiac ending that's likely to prompt questions, yet no other details or information about threats to the stable are offered. Ages 5–9. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

“[Lewin’s] paintings—of the shadowed stables, the children, the farrier and every individual horse—are so real readers will fairly smell the warm fug rising from the horses' backs and hear their hoofbeats clopping down the city streets. Beautiful.” — Kirkus Reviews, STARRED Review

“As he did in At Gleason's Gym, Lewin pays affectionate tribute to a Brooklyn landmark, this one a home for horses… Lewin's chatty prose summons the sounds and the sights of the stable, while underscoring its timelessness.” —Publishers Weekly

“Great for horse fans, from the appealing jacket art to the final pages giving the names and “head shot” portraits of dozens of horses and ponies.” —Booklist

“Realistic watercolor illustrations–first in sepia tones for historical times and then in color for the present day–show the operations of the stable with warmth and energy. …Though this book will be of special interest in Brooklyn and the surrounding areas, it has broader appeal.” —School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Lewin first takes us back to the days when horses did "just about everything." By the 1960s, however, most of them in New York City were gone. But Kensington Stables in Brooklyn remains, with thirty-seven horses. Lewin introduces us to some of them, along with Walker, who arranges pony rides, riding lessons, and trail rides in the park. The lessons given in the park or the barn, including those for special needs children, are part of the life of the stable. So are trips to school festivals and wedding parties. Lewin wonders what will happen when the stable is sold to developers and this last remnant of the past is lost. Love for both horses and ponies pervades the story. The sepia illustrations and vignettes of the historical period and the watercolor double-page scenes of contemporary life around the stable border on photographic naturalism in their details. The artist's eye picks out significant aspects, like the patchy sunlight in the stable as the harrier does his work, or the contrast of buggies and automobiles amid apartment houses in the streets outside the stable. Along with a factual note, Lewin offers a head portrait and name for each of the horses in the stable. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—This picture book briefly introduces readers to the history of horse transportation in urban areas and then describes the current activities of Kensington Stables, in Brooklyn, NY. Small children take their first pony rides there, older children cross the street on horseback to take riding lessons in the nearby park, those with special needs participate in a therapeutic riding program, and wedding parties hire carriages for their special day. Lewin also introduces the stable staff (the owner, riding instructor, and farrier), as well as the horses themselves. The narrative ends on a mournful note, questioning how long the stable will remain amid ongoing development in the neighborhood. The author relates the Kensington story in a spare, straightforward style that readers will find approachable. Realistic watercolor illustrations—first in sepia tones for historical times and then in color for the present day—show the operations of the stable with warmth and energy. A final yearbook-style montage depicts each horse. Though this book will be of special interest in Brooklyn and the surrounding areas, it has broader appeal. Suggest it for history or transportation units, horse-crazy readers, and families looking for a gentle introduction to nonfiction.—Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI
Kirkus Reviews
As he did in his acclaimed At Gleason's Gym (2007), Lewin conveys the spirit of a Brooklyn institution through sumptuously detailed, luminouswatercolors.Kensington Stables, a relic from the days when horsesprovided necessary transportation,shelters 37animals, large and small,with names like Lumpy, Marzipan and True. Tiny Chip gives pony rides at elementary schools; workhorse Fergus pulls the wedding carriage.A therapeutic riding program serves special-needs children every afternoon. Thestraightforward, present-tense prose conveys the central point that the horses are important to the community, and they should be preserved even as condos surround the little stable.A sequence of sepia-toned spreads sets up the modern, full-color tale, effectively illustrating the "time in America when horses did just about everything," from taking people to the beach to pulling fire engines. His paintings--of the shadowed stables, the children, the farrier andevery individual horse--are so real readers will fairly smell the warm fug rising from the horses' backs and hear their hoofbeats clopping down the city streets.Beautiful. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596434677
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 10/12/2010
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

TED LEWIN is the author/illustrator of over one hundred books for children, including AT GLEASON’S GYM (an ALA Notable Book), which is about another unique Brooklyn landmark. He lives with his wife Betsy, also an author/illustrator, in a 120-year-old Brooklyn brownstone not far from Kensington Stables.

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