Sunday, March 29, 2009

Review: Horse Diaries #1 & 2


Author:  Catherine Hapka
Illustrator:  Ruth Sanderson
Review Copy Provided by:  Random House Children's Books

About the Book:   Elska is a silver dapple Icelandic filly. She spends summers frisking about the countryside and winters in the farmyard, where the girl human Amma takes special care of her. But when a powerful neighbor notices Elska, her contented life suddenly changes. Here is Elska’s story . . . in her own words.  

Author:  Alison Hart
Illustrator:  Ruth Sanderson
Review Copy Provided by: Random House Children's Books 

About the Book:  Bell’s Star is a brown Morgan colt with a white star and two white stockings. He was bred for hard work, yet he longs to run free with his human friend, Katie, on his back. But when Star helps rescue a runaway slave girl, his ideas about freedom may change forever. Here is Star’s story . . . in his own words. 

My Review:  Most of you know that I am a horse owner/lover, so when these books arrived in the mail, I was so excited to read them.  I read them both, in one sitting, one evening last week.  They are short, pocket sized books, perfect for young readers' hands.  I passed them on to our vet's grandson today, who's 9, and he has already finished the first one on his drive home this afternoon and started the second one.  He says, "I really liked it!"

I would have to agree with him.  These are quick reads because the pages are small, even though they have over 100 pages.  The stories are just real sweet stories that are set in different places and are each about a different kind of horse.  I would recommend these to reluctant readers, because of the size of the books.  Even with 144 pages, it wouldn't intimidate your reluctant reader as a chapter book.  I  would also recommend them to horse lovers, which is why I gave them to our vet's grandson.  I just love these little books!

Here is a blurb that I recieved from the publicity department at Random House, who says that these books are "American Girl meets the Saddle Club."

Girls love horses. Fads and fashions may come and go, but one thing remains impervious to time—before they discover boys, they discover horses. And that’s why they call it “horse-crazy.”

For the girl who spends every weekend at the stable and the girl who merely dreams about riding, Random House Children’s Books is launching HORSE DIARIES —an entertaining, educational, and very horsy new series. Each title revolves around a specific breed during an appropriate historical period, and features an appendix full of photos and information about that breed. Like Black Beauty, the stories are told from the point of view of the horse. 

I am hoping to be able to review the rest of the books in this series as they come out.  I am working with the publicity department at Random House to hopefully do author interviews and a giveaway.

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