Beany Tatum, that durable little denizen of the Great Smoky Mountains, spends a summer with his great grandparents on Shackleford Banks, a lonesome island off the coast of North Carolina. Sassy, the skeletal yearling Beany found on a deserted beach was more dead than alive as a result of a gravelled hoof. But Beany and Tough Enough, the frolicsome pup who appeared in earlier books, pull Sassy through his illness for romps in the sand and wonderful rides on the beach. And though Pa Tatum said positively no horses could be allowed to return with the family from summer vacation, when the boat pulled out from Shackleford Banks, Sassy swam after it, proving to Pa's satisfaction that she was strong enough to pull a plow. The story has sure appeal and the illustrations have great power. Sand and spume, beach and grasses, the friskiness of Tough Enough and the wobbly helplessness of Sassy are rendered with sensitivity. A sure favorite.