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Volume VIII Number 12 . . . . February 15, 2002
Thelma Sharp's first book about the magnetic attraction of a young girl to horses is sure to fill that horse empty hole in most school and public library collections for children. The Saturday Appaloosa tackles a familiar topic that is not routinely covered in kid's picture books, and its publication is timely.
Crystal is fascinated by the horses which belong to a neighbor who is not well known to her grandmother. Crystal is eager to pet and ride the horses, but her grandmother forbids her to do so. However, an accident occurs with the Appaloosa, and Gramama saves the horse and provides Crystal with an opportunity to meet the owner and befriend the horse.
The real attraction of this book is not the story which, though well intentioned, is rather pedestrian and lacks spark. The real treat is Georgia Graham's chalk pastel illustrations which continue to astonish and captivate. In The Saturday Appaloosa, she may well do for horses what she has already done for cows in Bibi and the Bull (Carol Vaage), Tiger's New Cowboy Boots (Irene Morck) and The Strongest Man This Side of Cremona (Georgia Graham). Her unusual choice of color and hue in this book is a cause for re-examination and even more attention to the exceptional detail for which Georgia is noted.
Anne Letain is a teacher-librarian and school library consultant in Southwest Alberta.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.