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Are You A Horse? Hardcover


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Are You A Horse? + Cowboy Small (Lois Lenski Books) + The Brave Cowboy
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 270L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (March 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439724171
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439724173
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 10.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3—This humorous picture book requires a total suspension of disbelief. The premise that a man wearing Western clothing and sitting in a saloon does not know what to do with a saddle he receives for his birthday is delightfully silly. The instructions that accompany the gift advise him to "1. Find a horse 2. Enjoy the ride." However, the man does not know what a horse is so he asks a red wagon, "Are you a horse?" "'Nope, I'm an old wagon,' said the wagon. 'A horse is a living thing.'" He asks a cactus the same question, and it replies, "I bristle at the thought! I'm a cactus. A horse is an animal." Then he queries various animals absurdly found in the same habitat: a snake, a crab, a lion, and a zebra. The crab declares, "I'll pinch you good! A horse is friendly. I'm a crab! NOW GO AWAY!" The conclusion delivers a big chuckle. The gouache and India ink illustrations are comical and colorful, and the cartoon expressions capture the burlesque nature of the story. There are some clever visual interpretations. One series of six panels conveys the lengthy passage of time that it takes for a sloth to give his answer. A goofy giggle-inducing read-aloud.—Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma County Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

When cowboy Roy is given a saddle for his birthday, he can’t wait to try it out. Right after he figures out what it’s for. Luckily, it comes with instructions (“1. Find a horse. 2. Enjoy the ride”), but unluckily, Roy doesn’t know what a horse is. So he saunters about asking each creature he meets if it’s a horse. They all tell him why they’re not: horses have legs, explains the snake; a horse is friendly, explains the many-legged crab; a horse can’t change colors, says the friendly chameleon. Roy is just about out of questions when he finally finds something that fits all the requirements, and a horse it turns out to be. The western-styled gouache art is packed with colors and peppered with lighthearted jokes. Much of the visual fun comes from the way each animal has the characteristic Roy has just learned about from the previous encounter, while the text effectively uses negation to keep him looking. Kids will enjoy knowing more than the hapless Roy with the final page showing an extremely unexpected horsy ride. Preschool-Grade 2. --Ian Chipman

More About the Author

Andy Rash was born on a mountain top in Tennessee, educated in the swamps of Georgia and the canyons of New York, and lives with his family in Milwaukee. He has illustrated for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time, Entertainment Weekly and The New Yorker. He writes and illustrates children's books.

Are You A Horse has been nominated for a Missouri Building Block Award, a Washington Children's choice Award, has been adapted to DVD by Nutmeg Media, and soon will be featured in an episode of BBC Bedtime Stories.

Agent A to Agent Z was awarded a Parent's Choice Silver Honor, an Amazon Editor's Choice Award, a Brown County Book Award (Indiana), a Starred Review in Publisher's Weekly and was nominated for a Washington Children's picture Book Award. It has been adapted by Peaceable Kingdom into a Game Time Activity Tote. It is currently in development for animated television.

Ten Little Zombies: A Love Story has been optioned for a short animated film, and Superhero School has been optioned for animated television as well!

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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My 4 year old son and I LOVE this book.
Chelsie
Very funny book - enjoyed by adults as well as children.
Ruthellen
The unexpected ending had everyone laughing out loud.
D. Campbell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Arleen on March 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Make sure you are reading aloud the first time you read the story! You get lots of opportunities to do your animal voice imitations, and the ending made me laugh more than any children's book has in a long time. I'm not sure why the SLJ (School Library Journal) review only gives this book three stars. (Maybe the review was imported from an outside source and the book was automatically given a neutral rating?) This is definitely a "Read it again, Mommy!" book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Karona Drummond on May 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
When I first picked this book up off the shelf, I thought "Wow! What Fun!"
This story begs to be read out loud with all the feeling that is written into it. It reminds me of the P.D. Eastman classic, "Are You my Mother?", but with a fun new twist.

I performed this story at a book event recently. The kids listened intently as I did the voices of the animals. And the surprise ending got them giggling!

This is definitely a book to have in your collection to read aloud to your own kids or a whole roomful of kids!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dienne TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We checked Andy Rash's "Are You a Horse?" out of the library the other day and have read it a couple times. We almost didn't make it through the first time, but my four-year-old daughter loved the ending so much we read it again.

The gist of the story is that Cowboy Roy's friends give him a saddle for his birthday with instructions to 1. Find a horse and 2. Enjoy the ride. Now, Roy appears to be a few beans short of a barbecue, and not only does he not know what a horse is, he doesn't know how to recognize one when he sees it. So Roy goes about asking many things, from a wagon to a cactus to innumerable animals, if they are a horse. Each response gives Roy clues about what a horse is or isn't in order for him to narrow down his search.

It gets a bit tedious as Roy goes from animal to animal to animal asking the same question. My daughter sighed quite loudly a few times when we still hadn't gotten to a horse. There is an amusing encounter with a lion and one with a sloth, but the humor - especially the sloth - is likely to go right over the little ones' heads. But anticipation builds as we finally get to a zebra and we know that a horse can't be too far off.

But turning that last page when Roy finally finds his horse is well worth the tedium of the rest of the book. The twist, while predictable to adults, is still amusing for adults, and it's hilarious for children. My daughter couldn't stop laughing and had to go run and show her dad.

We'll have to see how often my daughter wants to re-read this book over the next couple weeks before we have to return it. We'll see if the humor wears off and she loses interest or whether she wants to read it again and again. If the latter, I wouldn't mind adding this book to our collection. Recommended.

*12/13/10 Update* - I just added this to my cart and will be purchasing soon. My daughter has asked for it nearly every night since we checked it out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Fuka on May 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
a great intro for younger kids on classification! all things to just living things to animal and on we go to find our horse. What we do with him is a surprise!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca J. Wolfe on December 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I spend a good chunk of every weekend reading to my partner's kids. Unfortunately, it's the rare book that both the 7 year old and 4 year old enjoy. Andy's books--both Are You a Horse and Superhero School--are ones both kids request over and over again. The end of Are You A Horse is unexpected and make both kids crack up. There are also some great catch phrases that the 7 year old loves repeating (I'm not a man, I'm a cowboy.) The 7 year old also can't wait for a Superhero School sequel.

Andy's illustrations are lively and provide enough variety to keep things interesting. The kids love pointing out new things to me with every read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By maureen on November 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first picked this book out at the public library for my 3 year old daughter. The whole family LOVED this book. We have 4 children ages 21, 19, 15 and 3 and the older kids enjoyed reading this book to the 3 year old over and over. I had to buy it! I now buy this book for every birthday party we attend! Educational and silly all in one.
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By Just Me on March 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have a two year old and seven year old daughter. This is one of their favorite books. I've read this book many times and even as an adult you will get a chuckle.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was a pleasant surprise found in our neighborhood library. It is clever, smart, funny, and it has a knee-slapping surprise ending I did not see coming. My kids think it's silly and I think it is charming. I'm unsure my kids understand that every encounter kind of builds on the next (you'll know what I mean when you read it) but I think that will make this book a joy for years to come. It has aspects that suit the very young (my 2 year old) to the much older (my 12 year old niece). Bravo, Andy Rash!
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