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WHAT'S THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING YOU KNOW ABOUT HORSES? by Richard Van Camp

WHAT'S THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING YOU KNOW ABOUT HORSES?

by Richard Van Camp & illustrated by George Littlechild

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-89239-154-5
Publisher: Children's Book Press

Van Camp (A Man Called Raven, 1997, etc.) explains to readers how, on the day it was “so cold the snow is holding its breath,” he impishly posed a single question to friends and family: “What’s the most beautiful thing you know about horses?” Their answers form the basis for a meandering text that reveals the secrets of horses, and of people as well. Horses, the narrator finds, have freckles and cool hair and soft breath. When they run, “they seem to flow over the land . . . to compete with the wind.” They can run sideways, and, like dogs, always know their way home. Respect for all living things is a connecting thread that runs throughout. Littlechild, who was also asked about horses, rolls out all the colors in the paintbox in a happy mix of startling, wide-awake stripes on horses, dogs, and faces. All of it radiates innocence, with shapes and colors that imitate the expressive, uninhibited strokes of children’s art. The starting point for Van Camp’s investigation is outwardly arbitrary, but the result is personal and fun. (Picture book. 6-8)