Monday, June 20, 2011

Horse Dreams Review

Horse Dreams
by Dandi Daley Mackall
Tyndall House Publishers, Inc
ARC Review
Release date: September 1, 2011
Fourth-grader Ellie James has a great imagination. She spends a lot of time daydreaming of owning a black stallion show horse and winning trophies in the horse show. But when the answer to all her dreams and prayers gallops into her life, will Ellie be able to recognize it?

Overall, this was a cute book and I think younger readers will really enjoy it. It's a fast-paced adventure that I think any horse-loving girl can relate to. I mean, what little girl bitten by the horse bug doesn't dream about owning their own beautiful horse?

I loved the horsey comparisons that she used for description. For instance, in the beginning scene when she compares her teacher to a racehorse. That definitely added a distinct feel to the voice.

Ellie's mom was a little confusing sometimes with her random sayings, but that was part of her character and it added to her personality. I've never met a character like her and I enjoyed that. I really liked Ashley. Usually the girls with the expensive hunters are stuck-up brats that don't even ride their own horses except for show. She was a nice break from that stereotype.

I did have a lot of trouble suspending disbelief through the first half. For example, the fact that the cat farm didn't realize their new arrival was a horse and didn't bother to inform the volunteer that would be taking care of the horse that it was, in fact, a horse.

Another thing for me was the fact that out of all those people around the horse, including animal control and several people that owned horses, only Ellie was the one who was able to catch her. I have trouble believing that out of all those people Ellie was the only one who realized that chasing a scared horse around and attempting to hit it with a stun gun was a bad idea. I don't understand why animal control didn't get out a tranquilizer gun or, if they didn't have one, call out a vet.

I did really enjoy the concept of God working in mysterious ways. She spent all that time praying for a black stallion and got a paint mare instead. It took her awhile to recognize it, but I liked it when she did.

Overall: 6/10. Really sweet story and it took me back to the days when I used to curl up with Pony Pals and dream about owning a black Friesian.


Margo Berendsen said...

I love this author and have read many of her other books, including the Whinnie and HorseFeathers books but not this one! Is it new? Very cool - I will be off to track it down soon