Combine a Pulitzer Prize–winning poet with a National Book Award–winning artist and, honestly, it's hard to go wrong.
Among the elegant equines at Adams & Son, Harry the Horse stands out—not for his admitted homeliness and lack of show-ring liveliness, but for his ability to soothe and befriend each and every restless new horse in the barn. Enter a high-strung human child. Has Harry met his match? Kumin knows horses—she breeds them—and her affection for them comes through clearly. Her jaunty couplets beg to be read out loud, though a few—“But before he set Algie down again / Harry shook him to dust off the grain”—strain just a bit under the rhyme scheme. As he did in The Tale of Funny Cide (written by The Funny Cide Team, 2006) and Our Cats Nick and Nora (written by Isabelle Harper, 1995), Moser uses vibrant watercolors from multiple perspectives against dramatic white backgrounds to convey animal personality and movement in an uncluttered way. His Harry grins and rolls his eyes in ways that, like the text, are fanciful but grounded in reality. Harry the Horse emerges as a full personality, and if the same can’t be said for young Algernon, that's a small quibble.
Good fun for the preschool set and slightly beyond. (Picture book. 3-7)