HORSE DIARIES by Catherine Hapka

HORSE DIARIES

Elska
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ever since that danged Lassie rescued Timmie from the well, readers have had to suffer foolish plots like this one. Hapka’s first in the Horse Diaries series follows the well-worn path of other small-format jacketless hardcovers—the Dear America series and the like—only with four feet instead of two. The filly Elska, raised in Iceland 1,000 years ago, forms a bond with a young human girl, Amma. The rugged, historical lifestyle is well-depicted, and the horse’s viewpoint, though sentimentalized, is decently expressed. Sanderson’s charcoal illustrations add some life to the slender story and help readers understand the unfamiliar setting. But of course Amma falls into danger, and of course Elska rescues her—alone, without human intervention, because of her love for Amma. Certain children will love it, but thinking adults should be repelled by this maudlin and wholly baseless climax. Horses are prey animals. They run from danger. They do not jump into rivers, not even if they are the “bridges of Iceland.” Probably harmless, definitely silly. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 24th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-375-84732-5
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2009




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