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Horse Crazy 1: The Silver Horse Switch Paperback – January 28, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Series: Horse Crazy (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (January 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811865541
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811865548
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,219,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Alison Lester is an Australian author and illustrator, whose books have been published worldwide.

Roland Harvey is an award-winning illustrator living in Australia.

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Customer Reviews

Any kid who loves horses will enjoy this book.
Raquel S.
Roland Harvey enhances the tale with beautiful watercolors that bring the story to life for young minds.
Maureen Mielcarek
You can use this book as a great doorway to talking about Australia with young kids.
Natasha Stryker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cathe Fein Olson VINE VOICE on November 10, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is about two girls, Sam and Bonnie, living in an Australian bush town. Sam's dad's horse disappears and an identical wild horse takes her place. The girls try to keep the switch a secret until they figure out what happened to the first horse.

While this book looks like it would be an early chapter book -- it's short and and has lots of pictures -- the language is advanced and would probably frustrate young readers. In addition, the story is confusing in places as well as it switches from the children to the horses. The story itself is actually kind of slow with a lot of descriptions about various horses. I think it would appeal only to really diehard horse-loving girls. For me, the best part of the book were the beautiful illustrations.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Crease in the Page on August 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Samantha and Bonnie love horses, and generally horses love them. So when Sam's policeman father gets a horse named Drover who likes neither Sam nor Bon, both girls are eager to try to befriend it. But one day when they greet the horse, they get an entirely different response. They quickly realize that this is not the same horse; it is a lookalike Brumby (wild horse) who has switched places with Drover. This new horse is so friendly they'd love to keep it, but can they train it in time to keep Sam's father happy with it? And how will "Drover" behave in an emergency situation?

This book is a little more realistic than most fictional early chapter books; there are no fairies or princesses. The magic in Horse Crazy is just the sort of magic that real kids hope for--a wild animal who wants to be their pet and ends up being a brave hero. Currawong Creek is a warm little town where everyone knows each other, quirks and all. Almost every page in the book has a whimsical watercolor painting that really adds life and humor to the story.

I wouldn't say this is an "earliest" chapter book. Despite the fact that the book is short and has plenty of pictures, there are many characters, and sometimes the author jumps from one setting to another or hints at what's happening instead of saying it plainly. Kids who are focused on carefully decoding words would feel totally lost. The second chapter introduces a number of horses who never enter this story at any other time, which is confusing even for me.

Overall, this is a delightful little book. I will be buying the other books in the series for my kids. Both my son and daughter are enjoying this book--I'm reading it aloud to them a few chapters at a time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Altar Boy VINE VOICE on December 26, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The book lost me from the very beginning when 10 horses were being introduced in rapid secession. The story has a very weak beginning and the characters are underdeveloped. The entire story pivots around two horses that switch places on their own. How realistic is that? Despite my distaste for the book, I tried getting two of my children to read the book. Even though it is a short chapter book of 60 plus pages, the kids couldn't get past page 12 before losing interest. On the plus side, the illustrations are done in both black and white and color and help to break up the text into sections which may appeal to some reluctant readers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LonestarReader VINE VOICE on September 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The first thought that came to mind after I finished this book was "what a jolly little series!" Jolly as in 1 a (1) : full of high spirits : joyous (2) : given to conviviality : jovial b : expressing, suggesting, or inspiring gaiety : cheerful
2 : extremely pleasant or agreeable : splendid
synonyms see merry

Two friends, Bonnie and Samantha, love horses. They know all the horses in Currawong Creek. It is their familiarity with the different personalities and manners of these horses that help them figure out that the horse Sam's father uses for his police work has traded places with another brumby mare that is the same color and size.

Roland Harvey's watercolor and ink illustrations take this story to the next level. Countless tiny, humorous details of life in Currawong Creek are depicted and invite the reader to study the pages closely. The characters and horses are expressive and full of life. The illustrations will beautifully support early readers who are just discovering the pleasures of "chapter books."

Alison Lester has provided a little glossary of Australian terms so 'yanks' will understand expressions like "double-dinking" and "brumby" -- just in case it is not clear within the context of the story.

A very 'jolly' little series to be sure!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mk TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A mild Australian adventure story with 2 girls, Bonnie and Sam, who love horses and encounter a wild one, or brumby. Alison Lester is the Australian writer, who grew up with horses in her blood, with lovely artwork on almost every page done by Roland Harvey.

Our five year old who is an avid reader gave it so-so reviews. She loves the "Magic Treehouse" series, more fantastic, but less pictures. I think "Horse Crazy" may be a more difficult read and doesn't capture her interest readily. Of course, each child learns to read at different rates and with different interests.

The gentle story fits elementary school levels, averaging, I would say between Grades 2-5. My wife and I like it; it's a small book with about 60 some pages; a cute map on the inside front cover shows and names the horses and gives the lay of the land; the author provides a short lexicon of Australian words at the back. There's a handful of sequels. Also, try Lester's, "Are We There Yet?"
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