Kirkus Reviews QR Code
HORSES by Patricia Hubbell


Trotting! Prancing! Racing!

by Patricia Hubbell & illustrated by Joe Mathieu

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7614-5949-1
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Rollicking rhyming couplets keep the pages turning as readers learn how to care for a horse and the many jobs that horses help humans complete in this latest from Hubbell.

“Clean their stall! Fill their pails! / Brush their bodies, manes, and tails! / Wipe their ears. Shine their feet. / Give them apples for a treat.” From the tasks of caring for a horse, Hubbell goes on to describe the different colors horses can be and what they do. The real strength of this book, however, lies in its descriptions of how horses and people work together. Horses help cowboys herd cattle and farmers plow their fields. They perform in circuses and help police officers get around. Horses can haul wagons and sleighs, carry people, swim, jump and race. A final page presents 12 labeled thumbnails of popular horse breeds (including one that is a color rather than a true breed: palomino). Mathieu’s watercolor-and-pencil artwork captures the beautiful lines of each horse. By contrast, the people are more cartoonish, making for a disparity that sometimes detracts from the scene as a whole.

Meant for the youngest audiences, this rough overview won’t hold the interest of those who are already horse crazed, but it just may start the uninitiated down that path. (Informational picture book. 3-6)