While putting away new reader copies, I tripped over this title (literally, I dropped it and then stepped on it….) called Hendrix the Rocking Horse. (Hendrix…rock…rocking horse…. get it?) I was a little cautious about it. The goofy illustrations of a horse (is that underwear on its head?) rocking out on stage was enough to give me pause. I then noticed Murray the Race Horse. Still the wonderfully goofy cover, but far more tame and traditional sounding. I wrong.
I read Hendrix first, not realizing it is the second in the Fables from the Stables series. However, that does not matter. Each one is its own solo story. The introduction by the author informs you these are true (or as true as can be as they were told to him) stories about a horse. You then go into a rhyming story of how one horse found that your town might not be the most exciting, but there are surprises everyplace. Even if you must create them yourself. The text is formatted to help the beginning reader have more confident in their reading ability while having fun learning a few lessons (finding a way to make your dreams come true, responsibly, and friendship).
I then went back to Murray. Murray wants to be a race horse but is not very fast. The other horses tease him. However, when one of the horses is injured its jockey asks Rudolph, I mean, Murray, to help (yes, the parallel is more than a little obvious). However, what is not as obvious is how Murray runs and (spoiler) wins the race. The lesson of being yourself is what comes out of this one.
Best part of these stories is that all genders will enjoy them. “Horse books” are stereotypically for girls. “Humor books” tend to be stereotypically for boys. Though both horses are boys, everyone will enjoy them. I especially enjoyed watching a bodysurfing mayoress.
Reading these books out loud is probably the best way to enjoy them. I started to as the rhyming starts right off at the gate and was a little bumpy to my minds ear. By doing this, it helped me get into the groove of things. I give Gavin Puckett 100 OMGs for being able to do this for approximately 90 pages. Now, I must read Colin the Cart Horse and Poppy the Police Horse (due in September). And a shout out to Tor Freeman for putting underwear on a horse’s head in a most tasteful manner. (And a thank you to Puckett for replying to my tweet about his books, I will be promoting them until their May release date and beyond).