Format: ARC (Hardcover available April 14, 2020)
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
Genre: Picture book
What did you like about the book? This wonderful story shows children what it feels like to do the right thing–and also the impact of hiding a secret from others. In this story we see a young boy who is happily playing in his backyard. Through the slits of his fence, he can see the outline of people and a small wagon go racing by. After they pass, he peers through the fence and notices a black wooden horse on the ground (clearly dropped by the passing group). He proceeds to bring it onto his side of the fence. This little boy becomes very attached to this horse–even giving it the name “Wind” because the horse loves to run. As the days pass and they continue to play together, the little boy starts to notice “Missing Horse” signs posted around town. He does not want to believe that the signs are about “his” horse so he just ignores them; however, this starts to make him uncomfortable. He begins to have tummy aches, does not play with Wind as much, and even starts to tell small lies to hide the truth. Finally, he decides to do the right thing and return Wind to his true owners–and he soon realizes how happy this makes him feel inside.
Anything you did not like about the book. Nothing
To whom would you recommend this book? This book is perfect for children between the ages of three to six years old. It would be a great book to begin discussions about telling the truth and how keeping secrets can have a negative impact. It is one of those books like The Empty Pot or The Rainbow Fish where there are some important lessons for children in the story.
Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries, daycare centers, preschools, anyone that works with children between the ages of three and six.
Where would you shelve it? Picture books
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.
Date of review: December 31, 2019