Review by Booklist Review
Chloe's very skeptical about the stories Adrian tells about his big, beautiful horse they live in a city, his house and yard are small, and she can tell from his clothes that he doesn't have a lot of money to spend on such an expensive hobby. When her skepticism turns mean and she hurts Adrian's feelings, her mother brings her to Adrian's house, and seeing him in his own environment helps her finally see his perspective. Luyken's dense illustrations feature expressive, crisply rendered figures set against lush backgrounds of sketchy, overgrown plants and fronds in warm autumnal tones, and in those backgrounds readers will see what Chloe struggles to notice until the very end of the book: Adrian's horse lives in his vivid imagination. Luyken hides horses in overlapping foliage and negative spaces early on, but it's not until Chloe stands in Adrian's yard and listens to him describe his horse that she finally sees it and, sweetly, she inadvertently helps shape it with a branch in her hand. A moving story about developing empathy, with beautiful illustrations to pore over.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Chloe scorns the stories that her classmate Adrian Simcox tells about having a horse since she knows they can't be true: "He lives in town like me, and I know you can't have a horse in town." In warm, expressive ink-and-watercolor spreads, Luyken (The Book of Mistakes) paints Adrian, who "gets the free lunch at school," speaking excitedly to rapt schoolmates. Adrian is lying, Chloe announces, and she sees that her words have "made Adrian Simcox really sad," but her resentment persists. Then, while walking their dog, Chloe's mother steers her toward Adrian's neighborhood ("All the houses looked like they might fall down"), and the two children meet in Adrian's garden, where Chloe realizes that, horse or not, Adrian has something rarer: the power of imagination. Newcomer Campbell explores with sensitivity the way Chloe opens her heart to Adrian, but the story's perspective-privileged child learns to value less-privileged child-may limit readership and group use. Luyken's delicate drawings add welcome depth, culminating in a final scene that makes magic from a tangle of weeds in Adrian's yard. Ages 3-5. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
K-Gr 2-Chloe just wants the truth to come out about daydreamer Adrian Simcox and his tall tale of having a horse. He tells everyone at school about his beautiful pet and its white coat, golden mane, and gorgeous brown eyes, but Chloe knows it's all lies. You can't keep a horse in town, and besides, Adrian gets free lunch and has holes in his shoes. When Chloe's Mom has finally had enough of her daughter's indignation, she takes the child to visit Adrian's part of town, where Chloe learns that going along with a fantasy isn't so bad. While this tale offers a moral, it's not preachy; instead, debut author Campbell has penned a gentle, enjoyable story about accepting your friends as you find them. The story finds its perfect accompaniment in Luyken's The Book of Mistakes with this book's muted, fall-tone ink, colored pencil, and watercolor illustrations of Chloe and Adrian's school and homes, the town's beautiful foliage, and, of course, the beloved horse that's brought to life by the children's imaginations. VERDICT This warm tale and its exquisite illustrations is well worth a purchase.-Henrietta Verma, Credo Reference, Jackson Heights, NY © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.