________________ CM . . . . Volume V Number 4 . . . . October 16, 1998

cover Horses Forever.

Lawrence Scanlan.
Richmond Hill, ON: Scholastic, 1998.
123 pp., paper, $5.99.
ISBN 0-590-12448-X.

Subject Heading:
Horses-Juvenile literature.

Grades 4 - 6 / Ages 9 -11.
Review by Joan Marshall.

*** /4

image Although difficult to use for any research project, this delightful book begs to be devoured by the grades 4 to 6 horse crazy students, usually girls, who beg you for "another horse book, please." From its gorgeous, dreamy cover, featuring a beautiful yo ung girl pensively admiring her horse, to its large clear print and well-designed format, Horses Forever is an all-time bargain. Although the book has a table of contents, there is no index. The black and white photos (some historical) are inform ative and the glossy, coloured photos, grouped together after Chapter 3, are stunning. Horses Forever is packed with fascinating information about the domestication of the horse; the horse in war over the centuries; memorable rides; the horse in books and movies; horses that race (and win!); how to break (or gentle) a horse; ponies; wild horses; and horses of myth and l egend.


It was the custom in those days to stable the horses all winter long. But in the spring, when the smell of new grass wafted in, the plough horses grew restless for the pasture. It became a ritual to release the horses all at once. Everyone on the farm would stop to look on as the great wing-gates to the pasture were opened and the herd was allowed to stampede out of the barn.

Down by the gate with the farm folk stood Colonel - no mere horse, after all, but one of the family. No one had noticed that little Eleanor was not with the rest of them, but on the other side of the gate. The moment that the farmers were slapping ho rses' flanks inside the barn and letting the animals stampede out was the moment that four-year-old Eleanor chose to cross in front of them. Her family froze, terrified.

Colonel bolted forward, bent one knee and knocked the little girl to the ground, then straddled her and faced the oncoming herd. An instant later the thundering horses sped round him, like water around a high rock in a brook, and galloped on to the p asture. Colonel leaned down and nuzzled Eleanor, then stepped back as her mother took the girl in her arms.

What I like about the above story is how it captures the two towering aspects of horses - the sense of danger, because horses are big and strong and fast, and also their generosity of spirit. Anyone who has spent a life with horses has tales to tell abou t that generosity.

      Lawrence Scanlan, a horse rider himself, obviously loves and knows horses well. He has written a "must-have" horse book.

Highly recommended.

Joan Marshall is the teacher-librarian and enrichment facilitator at the Henry G. Izatt Middle School in Fort Garry School Division, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364