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What Kids Really Want to Know About Horses

by Marty Crisp

Age Range: 7 - 12

Pub Date: June 1st, 2005
ISBN: 1-55971-920-6
Publisher: NorthWord

While they appear similar at first, two books appeal to different groups of horse-crazy kids. Everything Horse, part of the Kids FAQs series, answers questions that range from typical (why do horses wear shoes?) to distasteful (what happens to old horses?—do kids really want to know?) to playfully arcane (do horses come from dinosaurs?). The author’s lack of personal horse experience comes through in the odd wording of some of her answers, but the basic information is sound. The format is encyclopedic, not progressive; page design is chaotic but fun. Older kids who wish for a horse, but aren’t going to get one, will eat it up. My First Horse and Pony by Judith Draper (Kingfisher, 48 pp. $9.95, ISBN: 0-7354-5878-0), on the other hand, is a primer for kids beginning to ride, carefully laying out, systematically, how to care for, clean, tack and ride a pony. It’s well planned and executed, with clear illustrative photographs and terrific step-by-step instructions. The models all wear matching blue jods and vests, with the lovely ponies in blue halters and saddle pads, so that the whole book has a uniform feel. It’s the one for kids who are actually riding; those who will never sit on a horse may find the details dull. (Nonfiction. Everything Horses, 7-12; First Horse and Pony, 5-10)