Adrian Simcox Does Not Have a Horse by Marcy Campbell has some interesting elements. It is a softer version (text and illustration wise) of Enemy Pie by Derek Munson. Chloe, the narrator of our story knows that Adrian cannot have a horse. Why? Because he cannot have a horse in town. Or in his small house. Or the fact it takes a lot of money to take care of a horse and he has raggedy clothing. It is not until her mother gives her a lesson in empathy that Chole realizes that Adrian has the best horse ever.
This is one of those books where, yes, I enjoyed it, but do I love it? It is believable. It has amazing illustrations that are realistic and fantastical at the same time by Corinna Luyken. The text is well done and moves the story along. It is not over whelming or inaccessible to the reader. It can be read aloud to a child (at story time, bed time or in the classroom). The only real drawback I have is that I wish I had seen Chole telling the other kids that no, it is not real, but in his imagination. As a couple of the students believed Adrian really does have a horse, it would have been interesting to have Chloe pass along her lesson.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the book is that fact tht Campbell has mixed a very modern take of making friends and given it a combination of a classic feel and a modern feel at the same time. Luyken’s illustrations help make this point as well.