From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1—Several residents of Colonial Williamsburg do their best to find out what is ailing Garrick the Gardener's horse. In a rhyming text, the characters are introduced and briefly described in terms of how they try to help the animal. The blacksmith checks its shoes, the milliner sews a blanket, the apothecary makes a special brew, etc. Through it all, the town crier acts as narrator, summing up the action. A glossary goes into more detail about the jobs, items, and places found in this colonial settlement. The watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations depict all of the participants as cheerful cuddly animals who talk and dress as people. The two horses in the story, however, do not talk and do not have clothes. That lack of consistency probably will not bother the intended audience, nor will the conclusion that Lancer needs a friend and will be happier pulling the gardener's cart if Mary the mare comes along, too. This book would make a nice introduction to Williamsburg for very young visitors.—Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
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When Garrick the Gardener’s horse, Lancer, runs off on his own, Garrick’s friend Margaret the Milliner points out that Lancer looks so sad. As townsfolk gather to help, each has a different opinion of what the horse needs: clean hooves, a nap, oats with sugar, a song, a counterpane (identified in the appended glossary as a blanket or quilt), and so on. At intervals, the Town Crier chimes in with a verse that sums up the latest events. In a series of ink drawings tinted with watercolor washes, Moore lovingly re-creates scenes featuring the historical buildings and the costumed folk of colonial Williamsburg familiar to visitors to the restored and reconstructed town. The rhythmic, rhyming text may be a little too long for children young enough to find the low-key story and dressed-animal characters interesting, but there will be some who’ll give this pretty book a try. Recommended for larger collections. Preschool-Grade 1. --Carolyn Phelan