Monday, May 22, 2017

Books for Horse Lovers

It is May, Spring is here, and that means it is racing time for us horse lovers.  The Kentucky Derby was on May 6 and the winner was Always Dreaming.  I'm writing this in anticipation of this Saturday's Preakness.  Will that same horse win again today so they can try for the last race in the Triple Crown?  Saddle up and look at the books listed below.  They're all about one of the most beautiful animals around.  I hope you find one or more that you would like to check out, so you can sit on a soft blanket and gallop through the pages.

The Horse, by Wendy Williams.
Horses have a story to tell, one of resilience, sociability, and intelligence, and of partnership with human beings.  In this book, Williams visits with experts around the world to research the 56 million year journey of horses.  She charts the course of the history of horses, so we can learn about Thoroughbreds, cow ponies, the famous Lipizzans of Vienna, the Takhi horses of Mongolia, ancient cave art in France and Spain, and the mountains of Wyoming to understand the free-roaming mustangs, and much, much more.  This book is a revealing account of the animal who has been at our side through the ages, befriending us and traveling with us over the mountains and across the plains.  It pays tribute to this treasure of the natural world.

The Eighty-Dollar Champion, by Elizabeth Letts.
It was November 1958 and it was the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City, one of the most prestigious sporting events in the country.  In the atmosphere of wealth and tradition, a drab white former plow horse trotted into the ring.  They were the longest of all longshots, and their win was the stuff of legend.  Harry de Leyer saw the horse on a bleak winter afternoon in a rickety truck bound for the slaughterhouse.  He recognized the spark in the eye of the horse and bought him for eighty dollars.  The horse was a great mount for his children, but he needed the money so he sold him to a farm a few miles away.  But the horse Harry had named Snowman had other ideas, and turned up back at Harry’s barn dragging an old tire and a broken fence board.  So Harry set about teaching the shaggy, easygoing horse how to fly. The pair climbed to the very top of the sport of showing jumping.   This is a story of unstoppable hope, inconceivable dreams, and the chance to have it all.

The Race For The Triple Crown, by Joe Drape.
Award-winning New York Times sportswriter, Joe Drape, sweeps you into the rush of the horse-racing season, giving a step-by-step look at the Triple Crown races.  He captures the sights and smells from the twin spires at Churchill Downs, to the winner’s circle at Belmont Park, and all the stops in between.  This book is a personal narrative that captures the affecting stories of the Thoroughbred racing world.  These are tales of the riveting action, high-stakes finance, cut-throat competition, and impossible odds that make horse racing so irresistible, both for the equestrian-minded and sports enthusiast.

Several horse story series are shelved in the Children’s room and in the Youth Adult area.  Check out the following:
  • Marguerite Henry’s Ponies of Chincoteague by Catherine Hapka
  • Saddle Club by Bonnie Bryant
  • Canterwood Crest by Jessica Burkhart
  • Pony Pals by Jeanne Betancourt
  • Black Stallion by Walter Farley
  • Thoroughberd by Joanna Campbell and Karen Bentley
  • High Hurdles by Lauraine Snelling
  • My Friend Flicka trilogy by Mary O’Hara
  • Learning About Horses by Gail Stewart (nonfiction series)
 -Arlette Dubord, Technical Services Assistant

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