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Horace Hardcover – April 26, 1991


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Hardcover, April 26, 1991
$47.84 $3.35
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books (April 26, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688098312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688098315
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 9.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Horace is adopted. He is also spotted, and he is loved and cared for by his new mother and father--who are striped. But, as is frequently the case with adopted children who are "different" ("My spots are silly. . . and I'm all the wrong colors"), Horace feels the need to search out his roots. And although he does find a brood that resembles him physically, it is not a family that truly loves him. Once again, Keller ( Goodbye, Max ; Henry's Happy Birthday ) deals with a sensitive subject in a way that is perceptive but not sentimental. Her text is suitably straightforward: "We liked your spots, and we wanted you to be our child," says Mama in her customary bedtime story. The bright, boldly colored illustrations feature a lively animal cast and numerous amusing details, such as cat's-paw slippers beside Horace's bed. Youngsters will love Horace as they absorb his subtle message; even parents may find a small lump in their throats. Ages 4-up.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-- An adoption fable that has attractive, simple drawings in pen and watercolor; humor; and a graceful incorporation of several complex themes. Leopard-spotted Horace has tiger-striped parents, and he experiences the normal feelings of adopted children who do not look like their parents. Once or twice he wishes for different parents, and he has trouble accepting his looks. He decides to find a family where he belongs, and runs off to the park. There Horace makes friends with a kind family who look just like him, and who invite him to come with them. He realizes he wants to return to his own home and his own parents. Adults should be prepared to explain the part of the story in which Horace is told that he "lost" his first family, a word open to interpretation by preschoolers. Most adoption stories for young children use photos or drawings in a documentary or didactic way. Keller's use of appealing animal characters in a fictional tale is a welcome approach. --Anna Biagioni Hart, Sherwood Regional Library, Alexandria, VA
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 22 customer reviews
This is an EXCELLENT book for toddlers 2-4 years old.
A reader
The story is a great way to talk about adoption and the differences between parent(s) and child.
Amazon Customer
Now in her twenties she still reads it like a favorite poem.
BCK

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a favorite book of my 4 year old daughter, adopted from China. I always know when she is struggling with identity when she asks for the bedtime combination of Horace and Are You My Mother? I always change one word, though, because the word "chose" is not accurate to our situation. Horace's mother tells him, "We chose you when you were a tiny baby..." We did not "choose" our baby, we adopted our baby. So, when we read the story, we say, "We adopted you when..." Unlike other reviewers, I have no problem with saying my daughter lost her first family. She DID lose her first family and needs to know she can grieve that loss with us. My daughter also knows about appearances and knows she looks different than my husband and I do. She once asked why she doesn't have relatives who look like her. We have filled that gap with friends and associates who look like her. She still has the odd magical notion that, when she grows up, she will have curly blonde hair "like my Mom". Horace is a great way to get started having a very important conversation with an adopted child. It's a winner.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
While Horace is an excellent book for children, especially when adopted cross culturally, it can be helpful for older children as well. I work in international education, and teenagers have appreciated it when identiy issues hit. As an adoptive mother, I wish I had thought to encourage my children to "choose us, too" as Horace did at the end of the story. Every adoptive parent should consider this as a way to give young adopted children a sense of control and add something precious to their adoption stories. I also appreciated how positively the "tigers" he meets and plays with in his search were regarded. It is a wonderful story of love and choice and how both can contribute to identity.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Horace, the little leopard, just wants to belong. His having spots rather than stripes (like his parents) is just a metaphor for his worries about not belonging -- sometimes. By the end of the story, he realizes that "spots vs. stripes" really isn't important at all.
At first, when reading this book over myself, I liked the low-key, reassuring tone that struck me as sweet, not sappy. The real acid test was, however, how my toddler son reacted. It's been over 2 years now and he still requests Horace at bedtime.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A reader on January 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book gives a straight forward approach to discussing adoption with an adopted child. Although both of us and our son are Caucasion (we adopted him from Russia) he does have blond hair and blue eyes, while my wife and I have dark hair and dark eyes. He definitely does not "look" like us. Although I would agree that we shouldn't focus too much on "looks" the fact of the matter (and reality) is that it is something that our children will have to deal with. This book involves the "Mama" tiger telling her baby "Cheetah" that they chose him and that they liked his spots (confirming that there are differences in the world, as opposed to hiding it). The "losing" of the child's first family is a reasonable explanation to provide to a young child. The actual circumstances of an individual child's birthparents can be discussed in more detail as the child gets older and more mature to discuss them.
This is an EXCELLENT book for toddlers 2-4 years old. This book actually openned up the discussion of how our son came a part of our family and he now knows the entire story and is happy to tell everyone about it! Our son loves the book and proudly claims that he also "chooses" us after we finish the story.
Highly recommended!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 8, 1998
Format: Hardcover
WE ENJOY SHARING THIS STORY WITH OUR DAUGHTER'S PRESCHOOL CLASS TO HELP THEM UNDERSTAND WHAT ADOPTION MEANS. BEAUTIFUL ARTWORK, STRIPES AND SPOTS MAKES LOOKING DIFFERENT LESS IMPORTANT.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 28, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Horace is an excellent book, that through the setting of an adoptive family, deals with feelings of not belonging. As an educator of primary-grade students I recommend sharing this book to increase children's empathy towards others who are different than themselves. This book beautifully demonstrates unconditional love, something all children should be exposed to.

Jeannine Bradford (JMBradford@worldnet.att.net
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Alyssa A. Lappen TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 8, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not about skin color. It is about belonging--something that goes much deeper than skin. Which is precisely the story's point.

We borrowed it from the library before buying it, and our son loved it so much he begged for his own copy. He looks uncannily like us. His toddler pictures even resemble those of my father. But he will love this book forever, just like we will always love him.

Whether trans- cultural, racial or border adoptees, children need to feel that they belong, particularly when they come home at an older age.

Think of it this way: Being adopted can be like having a set of spots. This book helps children feel deeply at home, spots and all.

---Alyssa A. Lappen
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 17, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This is a sweetie. A great little story for transcultural families, this simple picture book reminds us that what bonds a family together is not the fact that everyone looks alike.
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