Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
Historical Wonder Horse
on May 12, 2011
Based on a true story of a horse and black owner, set in the 1860-1880's or so, I think everyone who loves how picture books inform us on historical wonders will truly enjoy this book. This is what I appreciate about picture books. They often provide you with a snapshot (though sometimes lacking meaty detail) of a historical event, figure, or in this case a wonder horse. They can be the first introduction to history's great stories. This one tells the true story of a pre-Civil War black gentleman who becomes free, becomes a vet (wow!), creates a profitable liniment, and trains, through kindness and patience (over years!), a horse to read, spell, know colors, and give cash register change. I enjoyed even more the further details of the man, Bill "Doc" Key, in the back notes as he was amazingly generous (had immense charity) to his slave owner.
My 10 yr old daughter recently picked it out to borrow from our local library. She loves sharing it with her horse-loving (and owning) girl friend. My wife keeps asking, "But is it true?!" I believe it is and wouldn't have learned about it unless this picture book was published.
Teachers today, in their often large classrooms, can be inspired by Doc Key's kindness and patience.
Thank you Emily Arnold McCully for writing, illustrating, and Henry Holt for publishing this book!!!