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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 62.
- Review Date: 2009-03-02
- Reviewer: Staff
This lighthearted early chapter book, which launches the Horse Crazy series, is set in Lester’s (Are We There Yet?) and Harvey’s (In the City: Our Scrapbook of Souvenirs) native Australia. Horse-loving best friends Bonnie and Sam detect a change in Drover, the mare that Sam’s father rides on his police rounds. Longing to run free, Drover, it turns out, has swapped places with an identical brumby (wild horse) that prefers the safety of the paddock (“Both horses saw the life they wanted, with only the fence in their way”). After the girls secretly break in the “new Drover” to prepare her for her job, the horse takes some humorous missteps—following a baker into his shop—before finally getting a chance to save the day. Harvey’s ink and watercolor pictures cheerily depict life in the bush and capture the personalities of the heroines and their equine friends. Off to a snappy start, the series continues with The Circus Horse, also out. Ages 5–8. (Mar.)
Saddle up, mate
For young horse lovers, a new series launches this year with Horse Crazy 1: The Silver Horse Switch written by Alison Lester, with illustrations by Roland Harvey. Set in Australia, where it was first published, this engaging title includes a glossary of Australian terms. (Double-dinking, for example, means two people riding on one horse.) Bonnie and Sam (short for Samantha) are horse-crazy kids in the rural town of Currawong Creek. Sam's father is a policeman. One day they make a fascinating discovery: her father's horse seems different somehow. Could it be that a brumby (a wild horse) has decided to exchange places with the policeman's grumpy mare? Can this new horse face the emergencies that come her way? A second title in the series, Horse Crazy 2: The Circus Horse, is also available, giving young readers another reason to ride along with Bonnie and Sam.