Entries tagged with “Horses”.
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Wed 25 Jul 2012
If you know a horse-loving kid, chances are he or she will be enchanted by Libby of High Hopes (Paula Wiseman Books, 2012) by Elise Primavera.
This quiet, lovely, early middle-grade novel tells the story of Libby, a girl who’s constantly being encouraged to live up to her potential. But that’s hard to do when Libby’s biggest love is horses, but her family only has enough money for one set of lessons and they go to her older sister.
Libby tries to learn on her own. She volunteers at the stable and makes friends with the horses there, an older client and one of the owners. She draws pictures of horses, watches her sister’s lessons and tries to pick up pointers.
But it isn’t easy seeing her sister get what Libby really wants. Especially since Libby knows her sister doesn’t value it as much.
And especially since — on top of everything else — one of Libby’s friends isn’t acting much like a friend anymore, but Libby’s mother is insisting Libby should still be friends with her and stay on the swim team, which Libby hates. And there’s this horrible princess spa party Libby is definitely too old to attend but has to anyway.
What’s a girl to do? Let’s ask today’s guest reviewer, Olivia, who often goes by Livvy. She found a lot of parallels between Libby’s life and her own.
Take it away, Olivia!
Today’s reviewer: Olivia
I like: Animals. Being on the swim team. Reading Harry Potter.
This book was about: A girl named Libby who loves drawing horses. Then, she finds a horse farm and she starts going there a lot.
The best part was when: Libby found out she got to take riding lessons on Princess.
I laughed when: Libby’s mother said, “Libby! Take the dog for a walk!!!”
I was worried when: Emily was at the horse show, and she was about to jump over a huge fence with her horse, Benson.
I was surprised that: Libby’s sister wanted to go to the farm.
This book taught me: To never give up.
Other kids reading this book should watch for: The part when Libby sees the horses for the first time.
Three words that describe this book: “Awesome.” “Horse-related.” “Cool.”
My favorite line or phrase in the book is: “No. It wasn’t fair.”
You should read this book because: You can make a lot of connections with Libby’s life.
Thank you, Olivia!
If you’d like to learn more about Elise Primavera, you can:
Tue 7 Jun 2011
Young readers first met Nellie Sue, and all her glittery glory, in Rebecca Janni’s debut picture book Every Cowgirl Needs a Horse. (Dutton Children’s Books, 2010).
The spunky cowgirl proved to be so popular that’s she’s back for another adventure in Every Cowgirl Needs Dancing Boots (Dutton Children’s Books, 2011).
In this tale, Nellie Sue has mastered riding Beauty, her two-wheeled horse, and is looking for a friend to help her break in her new dancing boots. But the only girl her age in the neighborhood seems more interested in ballet than barn dances. But Nellie Sue doesn’t give up until she and Anna find out just what they have in common.
The story features lots of down-home language, vibrant artwork by illustrator Lynne Avril and a happy ending.
As Kirkus Reviews says, “The glittery stars and hearts on the cover may lure readers into Nellie Sue’s pink cowgirl world, but it’s her hopeful, unbroken spirit that’ll win ‘em over.”
Now, let’s see what today’s guest reviewer, Sonia, has to say. Sonia is, after all, a bit of an expert on cowgirl boots as she owns two pair. You’ll notice she’s wearing one of each in the photo. Sonia also relates to Nellie Sue because she just mastered riding her two-wheeler and because she tries to ride real horses whenever she possibly can.
Take it away, Sonia!
Our reviewer: Sonia
I like:Playing DS fashion stylist games, getting new stuffed animals, watching TV and playing with my friends.
This book was about: A cowgirl named Nellie Sue who wants to play with friends, but the only people her age in her neighborhood are the glitter girls, and Nellie Sue doesn’t think they’ll like the same things she does. So Nellie Sue gets an idea from her dog, Ginger, and throws a barn dance and invites the girls. First, she doesn’t think anyone will come, but they do. And Nellie Sue gets to dance in her dancing boots. And, so do the glitter girls. Nellie shares pink lemonade and even her boots with her new friends.
The best part was when: Anna and Nellie Sue became friends.
I smiled when: Nellie Sue gave her boots to Anna.
I was worried when: I thought the glitter girls might not come to her party.
My favorite line or phrase in the book was: “I’d rather be a cowgirl,” said Anna.
My favorite picture was: When Nellie Sue is looking over at the glitter girls and one of the girls spots her and thinks she is spying.
This book taught me: You should be nice to everyone, because they might turn into a really good friend.
Three words that best describe this book: “Dancing.” “Boots.” “Glitter.”
Other kids reading this book should watch for: Lots and lots of pink and bigger words like “Trip. Slip. Slide.”
You should read this book: If you like cowgirls or glitter.
If you’d like to learn more about Rebecca Janni, you can visit her website or read this interview on Cynsations.
If you’d like to learn more about Lynne Avril, visit her website or read this quick interview.
And, if you’re not familiar with Rebecca and Lynne’s first collaborative effort, read Brooke’s review of Every Cowgirl Needs a Horse.
Thu 2 Sep 2010
There have been several famous horses in recent history.
Trigger was as well-known as his owners, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, thanks to their 1950s TV show.
In the 1960s, Mr. Ed had people flocking to watch his adventures.
There’s also Jim Key. His name might not be as familiar today, but in the late 1800s, he and his owner Bill “Doc” Key were quite famous.
Author and illustrator Emily Arnold McCully tells their story in Wonder Horse: The True Story of the World’s Smartest Horse (Henry Holt, 2010).
The pair toured the country showing off Jim’s ability to count, identify primary colors, spell basic words, dance and make change.
They put on quite a show. Jim had beauty, brains and a compelling story.
He was born with crooked legs. Doc, who had hoped Jim would be a racing champion, was disappointed. He was also sad because Jim’s mother, an Arabian mare he’d rescued from an abusive home, died shortly after giving birth to Jim. But Jim soon convinced Doc how smart he was and Doc spent hours training him.
Doc’s story was a good one, too. He was born a slave. Later, as a free man, he worked as a self-trained veterinarian, liniment salesman and general showman. His success, though well-deserved, wasn’t always appreciated, and he encountered some racism. But he persevered and became a successful businessman and an untiring champion of animal rights.
Bill encouraged schoolchildren to pledge “always to be kind to animals” and helped the growth of animal-rights and anti-cruelty groups.
Let’s see what today’s guest reviewer has to say.
Today’s reviewer: Tanner
I like: Fried chicken.
This book was about: A smart horse.
The best part was when: Jim Key and Doc Key performed their shows.
I surprised when: The horse was born with crossed legs.
This book taught me: The importance of showing kindness to animals.
Other kids reading this book should watch for: That it’s kind of like a fable. It teaches a lesson.
Three words that best describe this book: “Funny.” “Happy. “Kind.”
My favorite line or phrase in this book is: When Doc Key says, “Put down your whip.” He thought everyone should be kind to animals.
You should read this book because: “It has horses.”
Tanner isn’t the only one who liked the book, Booklist gave it a starred review, saying:
“McCully’s storytelling is as sensitive, engaging, and well paced as her brightly colored, expressive artwork, which highlights the period setting as well as the remarkable friendship between man and horse … A winsome celebration of an extraordinary man and the immeasurable effects of kindness.”
Emily Arnold McCully is the author and illustrator of many books, including the Caldecott Medal-winning Mirette on the High Wire, Marvelous Mattie, and Manjiro.
To learn more about Emily, visit her website or read this interview.
Fri 18 Jun 2010
Posted by Pat under Book reviews
Little girls and horses are a lovely combination.
And debut author Rebecca Janni uses them both to good effect in Every Cowgirl Needs a Horse (Dutton, 2010). Add in some pink glitter on the cover, and its appeal to small, feminine horse lovers is undeniable.
And once you open the book, the story delivers. Nellie Sue has a birthday. She’s sure this will be the year she gets a horse. After all, she’s already got the hat, boots and chaps.
All day she gets ready — mucking out the stalls, feeding the chickadees, harvesting grass and eating chili and beans. So when her daddy says, “Hey, Nellie Sue! Got a horse here for you,” she’s not expecting to see … a bike.
But Nellie Sue is game for anything. So she gets on the bike, which she christens Beauty, and tries to ride. Will she succeed? Or will she hold out for a real horse?
Let’s ask Brooke, today’s guest reviewer.
Today’s guest reviewer: Brooke
Age: 6 (and three-quarters)
This book was about: A girl who wanted a horse.
The best part was when: She got a horse. But it was really a bike.
I laughed when: She crashed.
I was worried when: She crashed.
I was surprised when: She got her wish in a funny way.
My favorite line or phrase in this book is: “And I do have that.”
Three words that describe this book: I love it.
You should read this book because: “It’s funny.”
Personally, Brooke says she would like a horse. And if her dad suddenly brought one home, she’d put it in the garage.
If you want to learn more about how this book came to be or about author Rebecca Janni, visit her website. You can see pictures of the book release party here. They even feature pink cowgirl hats!
If you want to learn more about Lynne Averil, the artist behind Nellie Sue’s pink, glittery persona, visit her website.