Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy Year of the Horse!

2014 Chinese New Year of the Horse
image from Story Nory
2014 is the Year of the Horse -- those born this year like to buck the rules and move forward quickly! Time to try new things and make big changes this year...if you're a horse, of course. 

As for me, I always enjoy making a booklist for the Chinese New Year. This year it's so easy that I have to limit myself to my traditional five titles! Here are some suggestions for reading in this Year of the Horse.


My Friend Flicka / Mary O'Hara

The story of a dreamy young boy who learns responsibility by caring for a horse, the eponymous Flicka. Fathers and sons, wild horses, dangerous illnesses... this really has it all. Plus a movie!
Frog, the horse that knew no master / Colonel S.P. Meek

A fun book I remember reading when I was quite young, this is a set of stories about an army horse named Frog, so named because of his habit of leaping forward from a standstill. The story is all about the military life in 1920's India and is very much of its time. But I recall a good read, and I loved the addendum in my edition that was all about military codes -- that led to some entertainment as well.
Misty of Chincoteague / Marguerite Henry

A beautiful book, just one in Henry's series of books about horses. I read this one first in a large edition full of pictures in my grade school library, and loved it. These days I might find the old fashioned gender roles a bit much, but hey, it's a great horse story.
Warhorse / Michael Morpurgo

Joey, a gentle farm horse, is sold to the army and sent to the battlefields of WWI. While dodging the noise and confusion of the war while helping to drag artillery and remove the wounded from the front lines, Joey wonders if the war will ever end, and when he will return home to his young master Albert. 



The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses / Paul Goble

And to finish off, a picture book. This 1979 Caldecott winner is a retelling of Plains Indian myth about a girl who loved wild horses so much she became one of them, leaving her tribe to run wild with the herd. Striking illustrations for the time, and a story of deep connection with the wider world.
And you? What are some of your favourite horse stories?

12 comments:

  1. NIce! I remember reading a (likely pretty hideous) series for girls when I was growing up, filled with those old-fashioned gender roles you refer to, with saddle in the title. I think somehow it combined what I loved about boarding school stories with what I saw to be glamour of riding classes. Have no idea what they were called; they lived with the other permabound series' books (you know the type) in the back corner of the school library with the other series I loved (also forgotten).

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    1. Oh yes, there are so many horse series! Still so many, too -- Saddle Club, Something-or-other Stables and so on.

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  2. I have two favorite horse stories from when I was a kid: Summer Pony by Jean Slaughter Doty and 4-H Filly by Patsy Gray. (All the Patsy Gray books about horses are wonderful.) I went through a phase where that's all I read. :) Thanks for bringing back some great memories. Here's to the Year of the Horse!

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    1. I had one that I liked called Pounding Hooves; it was a religious story and quite melodramatic as I recall, but had a wonderful front cover of a golden horse with ivory mane and tail -- I really wanted that horse ;)

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  3. I enjoyed the classic children's novel, The Black Stallion, by Walter Farley. Happy Year of the Horse (of course), Melwyk and readers! My "Chinese zodiac sign" is the Ox, for those interested (what's your sign?).

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    1. Black Stallion is a good one!
      My sign is the Pig, btw

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  4. I went through a horse stage when I was younger. :)

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  5. I just found out the other day that I was born in the Year of the Rabbit.
    I can live with that.
    I love rabbits. Is there anything more adorable than a rabbit?

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  6. Lovely books! I never heard of Frog, and I've still only seen (not read) War Horse, but the others are among my cherish childhood book-friends. I loved Summer Pony as well, but for some reason never could get into The Black Stallion...

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    1. There really are some fantastic horse stories that catch us right at that young age -- I never did read Black Beauty, somehow it just didn't interest me -- but so many others are so memorable.

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Thanks for stopping by ~ I hope you will leave your comments and reflections to let me know what you think!