Format: Hardcover Picture Book
Rating: 1-5: (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
Genre: Animals, Historical, Poetry
What did you like about the book? This lovely picture book captures a moment in time circa 1920 using exquisite artwork and language. The narrator tells of rising at dawn to greet a gentle horse, Tony, who pulls the neighborhood milk wagon. Like a dreamy remembrance of a long ago time, the pencil sketches are blurred to soften them, and washed with pale color. The poetic language evokes simpler days, while the illustrations elevate the text and imbue the story with the feeling of a treasured, quiet memory. Cuddle up and read one-on-one with youngsters to give them a glimpse into a simpler past.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No.
To whom would you recommend this book? Recommend to young animal lovers; they will recognize kindred spirits in the author and illustrator. I also showed this to my mom who recently turned 98. She remembered a horse drawn cart that delivered milk (and ice) to her neighborhood, too. It gave us a great discussion starter to reminisce about some of the many things that have changed in the last century. For that reason, I would recommend it to read with seniors in an elder care setting, too.
Readalikes: Though it conveys a different feeling, The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, also illustrated by Erin E. Stead, is similarly atmospheric and lovely.
Who should buy this book? Elementary school libraries and public libraries.
Where would you shelve it? Shelve with Picture Books.
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA
Date of review: 3/4/17