Dear Glen Rounds,

March 18, 2010

The Blind Colt – Glen Rounds – 80 pages

When ten-year-old Whitey discovers a blind colt amid a herd of mustangs and takes a liking to him, Whitey’s uncle forbids him to bring the colt home and says the colt probably won’t survive long, anyway.  He’s proven wrong as the colt adapts and stubbornly survives, and Whitey just can’t resist going against his uncle’s wishes and sneaking the determined colt onto the ranch.

I picked up The Blind Colt in a used bookstore somewhere or other, because I have a special fondness for horse books no matter the topic or reading level.  This one is a bit unlike the girl-and-horse, English-riding-stable love stories that I inhaled as an adolescent, but still entertaining.  Though I wonder about the political correctness of a white kid named “Whitey,” it was written so long ago that I can’t really fault you for that–instead, I’ll focus on what a kick I got out of the Western ranch-speak, and the tenacious colt’s antics, and the fantastic little sketch illustrations at the bottom of every page.  Nothing endears me more to a book than great illustrations, especially a book in that mysterious reading level somewhere between learning to read and middle-grade stuff, because though I might enjoy the plot, it’s still a bit too simple to be engrossing.  Anyway, your tiny sketches of the colt and his adventures are so funny and loose and adorable, and the story is a fast enough read that I could re-read it a bunch of times just for the pleasure of turning the page to a new sketch.

Some perusal of the internet tells me that there are a whole series of books about Whitey, so now I have something new to keep my eyes peeled for at library sales and used bookstores!  Four stars for this one!

Love,

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Dear Inda Schaenen,

January 23, 2009

Rainy Day RescueI loved the Saddle Club books when I was a kid, caught in the throes of the horse phase, and I picked up Saddle Wise #1:  Rainy Day Rescue in the hopes of recapturing some of that horsey joy.  You didn’t do a bad job, really–I think I just forgot how mediocre these kinds of series books often are.  You had all the elements of a horse-and-girl story here, which made it pleasantly familiar but also a little bit dull, and the prose could have been a bit more…sparkling, maybe.  My feeling about it is that it’s a sort of knobby-kneed little cousin of Marguerite Henry’s body of work, trying to keep on its feet but occasionally stumbling into a pile of gangliness.  Okay, enough with the horse metaphors–three stars (and not the kind on Rainy Day’s forehead).

Love,

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