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Are You a Horse?


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K-Gr 3-This humorous picture book requires a total suspension of disbelief. The premise that a man wearing Western clothing and sitting in a saloon does not know what to do with a saddle he receives for his birthday is delightfully silly. The instructions that accompany the gift advise him to "1. Find a horse 2. Enjoy the ride." However, the man does not know what a horse is so he asks a red wagon, "Are you a horse?" "'Nope, I'm an old wagon,' said the wagon. 'A horse is a living thing.'" He asks a cactus the same question, and it replies, "I bristle at the thought! I'm a cactus. A horse is an animal." Then he queries various animals absurdly found in the same habitat: a snake, a crab, a lion, and a zebra. The crab declares, "I'll pinch you good! A horse is friendly. I'm a crab! NOW GO AWAY!" The conclusion delivers a big chuckle. The gouache and India ink illustrations are comical and colorful, and the cartoon expressions capture the burlesque nature of the story. There are some clever visual interpretations. One series of six panels conveys the lengthy passage of time that it takes for a sloth to give his answer. A goofy giggle-inducing read-aloud.-Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma County Library, CA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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