This delightful first chapter book improves upon its predecessor (Bramble and Maggie, 2012) from the same author/illustrator pair.
Bramble, an opinionated mare, isn't about to be taken advantage of. For instance, she knows all about rides: "The rider sat in the saddle. The horse did all the hard work." Young Maggie, as always, has Bramble's number, and with a little judicious bribery (give-and-take, thinks Bramble), they are soon having adventures together, Maggie in the saddle, Bramble content. But with Maggie at school and her parents working all day, Bramble feels lonely. She copes by harassing their neighbor, Mr. Dingle, whose beloved garden is threatened both by Bramble and by his own recalcitrant hen. Mr. Dingle thinks he has a solution—revealed only in the illustrations—and with a little more give-and-take, everyone is happy. Haas combines realistic horse adventures and grade school pony love like no one else. Bramble is sassy but never scary; Maggie persistent and cheerful, but not all-knowing. Friend's enticing gouache illustrations appear on every page, a help to children just moving into longer books.
Young readers will eat it up. (Fiction. 5-8)