BEAUTIFUL MY MANE IN THE WIND by Catherine Petroski

BEAUTIFUL MY MANE IN THE WIND

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The mildly poignant first-person interior portrait of a girl who tells us that she is really a horse. She scorns the boys who pull her mane and the girlygirls who let the boys tie them up with pretend ropes. They only let the horse girl play with them ""when they need a victim or a hostage or some kind of outsider."" Horses don't need friends. Mama, we're told early, doesn't understand horses and doesn't know about her daughter's change into a horse. Later, Mama wouldn't believe it even if 'T' told her. But soon after, Mama asks ""who I thought I was: A girl? A horse?"" . . . so I said 'A girl, just a girl.' [But] I won't be a girlygirl.'"" Then she reveals to readers that she can be a girl or a horse, as she chooses. ""Maybe Mama knows all that--she is my mama. Maybe she wishes she were a horse too."" Which is almost like saying that none of this is as real or as serious as it was made out to be. Parker's watercolors, though, maintain the dreamy mood and may help keep susceptible readers in touch.

Pub Date: Feb. 23rd, 1983
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin