CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number . . . .June 19, 2015
MacLeod offers readers six stories of horses or breeds with historical significance. She includes Bucephalus (the steed of Alexander the Great), mustangs of the North American west (as used by Native tribes), Star (the horse of American patriot Sybil Ludington), the Morgans and Thoroughbreds who ran the Pony Express, pit ponies that were used in the coal mines of Europe and North America, and Seabiscuit, the race horse that defeated War Admiral in 1939. Each chapter includes a main narrative, several sidebars, and captioned illustrations.
Those looking for factual information will be disappointed by MacLeod’s decision to fictionalize her presentations and include invented dialogue (see quote above). In some cases, contradictory information is given: one sidebar detailing Buffalo Bill states, “historians aren’t sure he actually ever rode for the Pony Express,” while a caption on the facing page reports, “Buffalo Bill is said to have held the record for the longest Pony Express ride. He rode 21 horses to travel 518 kilometers (322 miles) non-stop.” No source notes are included. Back matter includes a time line, horsey places to visit, main sources (none appear to be primary), and further reading (books for children). Purchase only where demand for this topic is great.
Kay Weisman works as a youth librarian at West Vancouver Memorial Library.
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