JOURNEY by Lisa Chambers


The Story of a Therapy Horse
Age Range: 5 - 8
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A horse meanders through life.

At birth a colt is named Star by an unnamed little white girl who "whispered secrets to him that no one else knew." She raises him, takes him to horse shows, and then, having grown up, sells him to a lesson barn, where he is renamed Scout. When he proves unsuitable for a lesson horse—"unsure, [he] would stop and refuse to move"—he's sold for a trail horse and called Dude. When the trail outfit shuts down, he's trained to be a therapeutic riding horse and is this time renamed Journey and meets another little white girl who whispers to him. The description-heavy text lacks action, drama, plot, and characterization—the horse gets shuffled from one situation to another, and the people are interchangeable entities. It also seems odd that an animal temperamentally unsuited to be a school horse could pass muster for a therapeutic program. Siegler's otherwise attractive and accurate watercolors depict a world in which all the important people are white (a few faraway, indistinct riders may have dark skin), and the text describing the disabled girl at the end reads condescendingly: "nobody understood her mixed-up words."

A weak effort. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-934860-06-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Shenanigan
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2016


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