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Where Horses Run Free: A Dream for the American Mustang
     

Where Horses Run Free: A Dream for the American Mustang

by Joy Cowley, Layne Johnson (Illustrator)
 

She is the lead mare of a herd of wild horses that run the range. When people come to capture them, she leads the herd in a run for safety. But trucks and helicopters drive the horses into pens. Imprisoned behind barbed wire, the fire in the mare's heart is reduced to embers. Her spirit is almost broken—until a cowboy comes and promises to set the horses free.

Overview

She is the lead mare of a herd of wild horses that run the range. When people come to capture them, she leads the herd in a run for safety. But trucks and helicopters drive the horses into pens. Imprisoned behind barbed wire, the fire in the mare's heart is reduced to embers. Her spirit is almost broken—until a cowboy comes and promises to set the horses free. Joy Cowley's deeply felt story, with breathtaking illustrations by Layne Johnson, is based on the true story of Dayton O. Hyde, founder of the Institute of Range and the American Mustang, a nonprofit organization that owns the eleven-thousand-acre Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It is a special place, where the wild horse is allowed to be wild.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Cowley's version of Dayton O. Hyde's quest to remove horses from their prison on the plains of the American West and free them to the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary of South Dakota is a dream come true for horse lovers everywhere. Cowley and Johnson team up to effectively capture the grave injustice, great struggle and deep emotion involved in this little known story of our American frontier past. Young and old animal lovers alike will grasp the helplessness of the penned horses and rejoice in the fulfillment of the cowboy's dream to liberate them. The extraordinary paintings make the story real as the reader is able to see the beauty of the wild horses, the ugly fear of uncertainty, and the horror of the gaunt, captive horses. This delightful work of art appeals to younger readers through its accessibility and to older readers because of its beauty and powerful message. Cowley's carefully placed words tug at the deep, yet simple themes pervading this amazing story of the struggle to set horses free. 2003, Boyds Mills Press, Ages 8 to 14.
— Sarah Nelson
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-It's impossible to read this book with a dry eye. Poignant oil paintings, most covering full spreads, depict the collective fear, flight, captivity, and dejection of the herds of "useless" wild mustangs corralled onto Bureau of Land Management feedlots. Focusing on one horse and her cowboy rescuer (identified in the flap copy as the real-life Dayton O. Hyde), Cowley and Johnson do an admirable job of condensing the story of Hyde's dream, doggedly fulfilled, of creating an 11,000-acre South Dakota sanctuary for these displaced animals. Sentimental? Sure (and the irritating, stanzalike layout of the text doesn't help). However, readers come away with a feeling of overwhelming optimism shown by one man's ability to correct an injustice. The illustrations superbly convey the magnificence of the wilderness and the adaptation of rejuvenated, galloping residents to it.-John Sigwald, Unger Memorial Library, Plainview, TX Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590780626
Publisher:
Highlights Press
Publication date:
09/01/2003
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
11.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)
Age Range:
5 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Joy Cowley, author of more than three hundred books for children, is best known to young readers as the creator of Mrs. Wishy-Washy. Her other titles include The Rusty, Trusty Tractor; Mrs. Goodstory; and The Video Shop Sparrow. Ms. Cowley lives in New Zealand.

Layne Johnson has illustrated a number of books for young readers, including Ben, King of the River by David Gilfaldi, and On the Day His Daddy Left by Eric J. Adams. He lives in Houston, Texas.

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