From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Maggie and her horse, Bramble, are back in another beginning chapter book. With a slightly mischievous, frisky attitude in the cooler fall weather, Bramble takes risks and pretends to be fearful, while Maggie introduces her to the sights and sounds of autumn. Both grow into their partnership and maturity as Bramble overdoes her imitation of anxious jumpiness, thoughtlessly unseats her rider, and finally accepts responsibility and returns home safely. Maggie is back in the saddle again with a final chapter, taking the lead and guiding her horse through a succession of surprises on a dark night of trick-or-treating. Softly colored gouache illustrations illuminate expressions and follow the action from a variety of perspectives and have appropriate visual clues and generous white space for younger readers. Dialogue, Maggie's occasional reflections, and a bit of onomatopoeia allow the narrative text to flow nicely as a trusting relationship develops between horse and rider. A solid addition for general purchase.—Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX
The narrative voice in this early chapter book is superb—direct, succinct, and easy to read for younger horse lovers, but slyly slanted conceptually to encompass both horse and human perspectives. Readers lucky enough to know a horse personally will recognize equine behavior expertly sketched, yet gently articulated as an evolving relationship... And the humorous, lightly drawn gouache illustrations of big-eyed horses and their nonplussed riders will evoke emotions familiar to anyone—adult or child—who has ever struggled to understand a mount with a mind of its own.
—The Horn Book
A fully illustrated story in four chapters, this transition book could be shelved with either beginning reader books or chapter books. Ranging in size from double-page spreads to small vignettes, the gouache paintings create a distinctive look with pleasant hues, rounded forms, and expressive faces. While enjoying the sometimes amusing insights into Bramble’s thoughts, children will empathize with Maggie’s attempts to make her new pal happy. An engaging horse story for young chapter-book readers and a good read-aloud choice as well.