________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 9 . . . . January 4, 2002

cover Little Guy. (The Patti Stories, Volume 2).

Heather Gardam.
Toronto, ON: Penguin Books Canada, 2001.
160 pp., pbk., $14.99.
ISBN 0-14-100444-4.

Subject Headings:
Horses-Training-Juvenile fiction.
Self-confidence-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Kristin Butcher.

*** /4

exerpt:

This summer, she realized suddenly, the things that seemed the most important were always being bumped down her list - first there was riding in the Fall Fair, then getting to ride Little Guy at all. She was constantly being reminded that there were things more important than what she thought was the most important! Today, Little Guy alive and free of pain was clearly at the top of the list. She would try to remember that.

Little Guy is the second book in the "Patti Stories" series by Salt Spring Island author, Heather Gardam. Aimed at the horse-lover set, it tells the story of ten-year-old Patti and her relationship with Little Guy, a horse that is being cared for by Patti's family.

     In exchange for cleaning stalls and tack at a nearby stable, Patti is receiving riding lessons, and she is anxious to practice what she's learned on Little Guy. Not only does she want to ride him; she wants to do so in the Fall Fair - and she wants to win! Along the way, of course, there are obstacles to be overcome. First of all, before his owners will give their permission for Patti to ride him, Little Guy must recover from an ailment that has rendered him lame. Also, Patti must become more focused about her riding, and she must come to terms with some conflicts at the riding stable, as well as her own perceptions of self, family, and friends. And finally, she must learn to work with Little Guy.

     The book offers few surprises. The plot is straightforward, the obstacles minor, and the ending predictable. Patti learns some life lessons, the reader learns about horses, and everyone lives happily ever after. Nevertheless, for the pre-teen set eager for yet another book about girls and horses, Little Guy fits the bill.

Recommended.

Kristin Butcher lives in Victoria, BC, and writes for children.

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

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364

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