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by Jane Yolen & illustrated by Ruth Sanderson

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-375-85853-6
Publisher: Random House

The opening stanza—“Hush little horsie, / Asleep on the farm. / Your mama is near / And will keep you from harm”—sets the tone for a soothing bedtime hymn featuring horses. A variety of different mother horses and ponies in different settings (plain, islands, moor, stable) protectively watch fuzzy foals run, play and sleep. The text emphasizes the idea of the all-protective parent who will always provide support and a safe place to dream. At the end, the narrative switches to a human “mama” putting her daughter (who holds a stuffed horse) to bed. This functions as a nice point of interest for little ones to connect themselves to the book. The theme is as sweet as sugar, and it’s hard to imagine this not being a source of comfort for any young child, but it's still not as fresh as one would expect from such an established writer as Yolen. Sanderson’s lush, incredibly precise portraits of the horses are also high in glucose. Simple and cuddly, but we’ve seen this before. (Picture book. 2-5)