From School Library Journal
Grade 1–4—From the breathless experience of watching the birth of a foal ("Wake up! Wake up! It's almost time!") to the gentle greeting of an old horse who "Lumbers, lumbers/To the fence./With noisy, flapping lips,/He fumbles for carrots/Frommy waiting,/Outstretched hand," this collection is packed with poems for horselovers. Through Alonzo's 21 fresh and lively offerings, youngsters will encounter a "Winter Horse" ("Shaggy/Furry/Rugged"), a show horse ("My jumper cruises/To the water hurdle,/Leaps mud and rails"), an imaginary horse ("My sea horse can/swish/with/fish/Near lacy seaweed"), a "Buckin' Bronco" ("I'm a whirlin', twirlin',/manic machine"), and more. Each selection is presented on a single page or full spread and complemented by Murphy's well-composed, beautifully textured art, created with watercolor, acrylic, and gel medium on paper. Many of the paintings feature realistic images of horses in action or young girls interacting with their mounts, while others are more whimsical. For example, a poem about a stampede across an ancient prairie ("Like a storm cloud spewing dust") is matched with an illustration that looks like a cave painting. This delightful collection will be relished by readers who "Gallop-o-gallop-o-gallop along," even if only in their dreams.—Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI
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About the Author
Sandra Alonzo lives in Mariposa, California.
Kelly Murphy lives in North Attleboro, Massachusetts.