From School Library Journal
Grade 1-3–Byars continues the gentle fantasy begun in Little Horse
(Holt, 2002). The diminutive animal has begun to make himself comfortable in his new home among humans, but he still dreams of his old life in the Valley of Little Horses. A frightening thunderstorm wreaks havoc on the farm and frees him from his tiny stable. Finding himself on his own, he narrowly escapes the claws of the cat and makes his way to the stream that he knows will lead him home once again. But first he must escape a forest fire and a predatory bird. As in the first book, Byars masterfully conveys Little Horse's naive perspective. The prose is clear and uncluttered, and the action moves crisply. Readers who've enjoyed the first book will relish the scenes that show how the protagonist's character has grown and find this a satisfying sequel to his earlier adventures. Once again, author and illustrator effectively pool their considerable talents to create a landscape that is both believably familiar and dreamily fantastic. McPhail's charming, full-page and spot pencil drawings help fill in the details, and an endpaper map traces Little Horse's journey home. Children who enjoyed Ursula Le Guin's "Catwings" series (Orchard) and Kathleen Duey's "The Unicorn's Secret" series (Aladdin) will welcome this tale.–Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
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Gr. 2-4. Children familiar with Little Horse from his eponymous first adventure (2002) know that he comes by his appellation honestly; he belongs to a group of uncannily tiny equines. In this sequel he sets off to find the Valley of Little Horses and reunite with his mother, a journey that is, of course, fraught with danger. Byars excels at pitching her prose to newly independent readers without sapping it of excitement; storms "rage," horses "frisk," animals "dart." McPhail's black-and-white illustrations appeared slightly muddy in the galley, but, as in the first book, their presence lends clarity to Byars' otherwise rather subtle references to Little Horse's unusual size. Although there is no real emotional development alongside the physical journey, the brief, action-packed chapters will please horse fanciers ready to advance beyond traditional easy readers. Suggest the Little Horse duet as a stepping-stone to Ursula Le Guin's slightly more sophisticated Catwings animal fantasies. Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved