Posts tagged ‘horses’


Title: Writing Prompts For Girls: An “A+ Teacher Design” to motivate girls to write for homeschoolers and teachers. Targeting Grade 1, Grade 2 & Grade 3. 

Written by Christine Calabrese

I recently reviewed Writing Prompts For Boys: An A+Teacher Design and you can see my complete review for that book on

Calabrese recently released this edition for girls and it does an excellent job just like the previous edition for boys. The author selects a wide array of topics like the princess theme, horses, snowy days, music, sports, secrets, and fantasy to name a few of them. She encourages girls to use their “w” words and imagination to write and draw their way to success providing exciting vocabulary, simple rules, and exciting scenarios.

Children see writing as a fun exercise not a laborious chore. This book is perfect for the primary grades but also wonderful for older reluctant readers and writers.

As a former teacher, I would highly recommend these resources to parents and teachers.




The Forgotten Horse – Book 1 in the Connemara Horse Adventure Series for Kids. The perfect gift for children age 8-12. (Connemara Adventures)

Written by Elaine Heney

This is Book 1 in a series. The author has trained thousands to develop and care for their horses. She also creates films featuring the human equestrian relationship.

Primarily intended for a middle-grade audience, Heney creates beautiful characters. Readers learn about a close-knit Irish farming family that faces hard times. Clodagh immediately falls in love with the grey pony that she names Ozzie. Clodagh knows one day she will work with horses.

The book is filled with issues that usually pop up for its target audience like bullying and learning to cope with school peers determined to look down on her. Throughout the book, Clodagh reveals her steadfast determination to overccome these obstacles and find a way to keep Ozzie.

Highly recommended for any reader who loves horses and down-to-earth family stories.


Pega Sisters Go to Camp and The Littlest Airplane Virtual Blog Tour and Giveaway #brookehartman

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH with The Children’s Book Review, Brooke Hartman,  and a grant from the Alaska Writers Guild


Pega Sisters Go to Camp

Written by Brooke Hartman

Illustrated by MacKenzie Haley

Ages 4-8 | 32 Pages

Publisher: Page Street Kids | ISBN-13: 9781645674719

Publisher’s Synopsis: Lilly has waited for this day all year: It’s Pegasus Camp! And it’s finally here!

But this year, Lilly’s little sister, Filly, is tagging along. And wherever Lilly goes, Filly’s right underhoof, turning rainbow leaping, mane braiding, and cake baking into crashing, tangling, splattering messes! When Lilly’s temper finally snaps, Filly canters sadly away. Lilly wanted her Pega Sister to go―so why can she no longer have any fun without her?

Anyone with siblings will knowingly smile and roll their eyes, and all readers will laugh along with this rollicking, punny summer camp romp, which also serves as a sparkling reminder that sisters make the most marvelous magic together.

The Littlest Airplane

Written by Brooke Hartman

Illustrated by John Joesph

Ages 4-7 | 32 Pages

Publisher: Alaska Northwest Books | ISBN-13: 9781513128641

Publisher’s Synopsis: A rhyming picture book about how sometimes it’s not the biggest, strongest, or the fastest, but the littlest who can get the job done!

“Alaska Northwest Books wings into spring with… The Littlest Airplane by Brooke Hartman, illus. by John Joseph, in which a storm necessitates calling a mighty little bush plane to rescue people stuck on a mountain in the snow.” —Publishers Weekly, Spring 2022 Children’s Sneak Previews

At a landing strip in the far north, a little bush plane watches quietly as bigger, stronger, faster planes take off for adventure. But when a storm hits and hikers are stranded on the mountain, who will come to the rescue?

Told in rhyming verse with bright illustrations, The Littlest Airplane soars high with heart and excitement.



Brooke Hartman is an Alaskan mom and national award-winning author of silly, sweet, and sometimes strange stories for children and Young Adults. Follow along on her Alaskan writing adventures at, or on social media at @BrookesBooksAK.

MY REVIEW OF Pega Sisters Go to Camp


Pega Sisters Go to Camp

Written by Brooke Hartman

Illustrated by Mackenzie Haley

Lilly is excited about the upcoming summer camp. This year will be extra special because her little sister, Filly, will be going along with her. Unfortunately, things do not go smoothly. Filly adores her big sister and is constantly underfoot and undermining Lilly’s creations. When Lilly gets frustrated, she walks away from her sister. Will they be able to patch things up?

Children who adore unicorns and winged horses will fall in love with the beautiful illustrations of these beloved creatures. A fun bedtime story or read-aloud for preschoolers and primary grade readers.


Enter for a chance to win a Pega Sisters Goes to Camp or The Littlest Airplane prize pack!

One (1) winner receives:

The Pega Sisters Prize Pack!

Includes a signed copy of Pega Sisters Go to Camp by Brooke Hartman and MacKenzie Haley, your own pegasus plushy, Pega Sisters activities, stickers, and accessories to “glam up” just like Lilly and Filly!

One (1) winner receives:

The Littlest Airplane Prize Pack!

Includes a signed copy of The  Littlest Airplane by Brooke Hartman and John Joseph, a “build your own wings” craft activity, Littlest Airplane word search and maze, Littlest  Airplane stickers, a set of markers, and your own fox plush to take with you on all your flights!

One (1) winner receives:

A copy of Pega Sisters Go to Camp and The Littlest Airplane



Thursday, March 30, 2022The Children’s Book ReviewTour Kick-Off
Thursday, March 30, 2022Jena Benton’s Simply Seven InterviewAn interview withBrooke Hartman
Saturday, April 2, 2022Life Is What It’s CalledA book review ofThe Littlest Airplane
Monday, April 4, 2022Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersA book review ofPega Sisters Go to Camp
Tuesday, April 5, 2022The Fairview ReviewA book review ofThe Littlest Airplane
Wednesday, April 6, 2022The Momma SpotA book review ofPega Sisters Go to Camp
Thursday, April 7, 2022Lisa’s ReadingA book review ofThe Littlest Airplane
Friday, April 8, 2022Confessions of a Book AddictA book giveaway ofThe Littlest Airplane and Pega Sisters Go to Camp
Monday, April 11, 2022J.R.s Book ReviewsA book review ofPega Sisters Go to Camp
Tuesday, April 12, 2022Crafty Moms ShareA book review ofThe Littlest Airplane
Wednesday, April 13, 2022Barbara Ann MojicaA book review ofPega Sisters Go to Camp
Thursday, April 14, 2022icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review ofThe Littlest Airplane
Friday, April 15, 2022A Dream Within a DreamA book review ofPega Sisters Go to Camp
Monday, April 18, 2022Me Two BooksA book activity to pair withThe Littlest Airplane and Pega Sisters Go to Camp
Tuesday, April 19, 2022Twirling Book PrincessA book review ofPega Sisters Go to Camp
Wednesday, April 20, 2022Jena Benton’s Simply Seven InterviewA book review ofPega Sisters Go to Camp

Dynamite Detectives

The Dragon Defenders – Book 1

Written by James Russell

Animations by Yongtao Zhang

Paddy and Flynn are two brothers who live on an island in the Pacific ocean. That may already sound like an adventure. They also have a dog named Coco, a pet falcon, and a horse. In addition their island is home to secret dragons.

Sounds like a promising beginning to an adventure series for late elementary school and middle-grade readers. The two brothers become detectives and try to thwart the evil boss who wants to capture one of the dragons.

This is a page turner that is made even more attractive by the ability for readers to download an app to turn the book into an interactive adventure. Readers who download the app are able to read secret codes, and view three dimensional animations. There is also a map to trace the journey.

Lots of authentic dialogue, intrigue, teamwork, colorful characters, and bravery to spur readers on and get them hooked on reading the entire series.

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Check out a zillion learning opportunities for the whole family at


Jump the Moon

Written by Kathy Simmers

Illustrated by Marjorie Van Heerden

This book relates the sweet tale of a young girl with blonde hair who loves horses. She cannot have her own, so she is working in a barn with a horse trainer for the summer. A gray pony balks at everyone, but this young girl succeeds in developing a special relationship with the pony. As the summer wears on, the two seem to complete each other’s thoughts, hence the phrase, Me Too.

At the end of the summer, the pony is sold. For many years, their paths diverge. The girl begins college. Then she starts to reminisce and dream about the pony. She wants to reconnect. Will she succeed in tracking down the pony and can she restore that special bond of empathy, trust, and kindness?

The soft pastel illustrations impart a whimsical and light-hearted mood to the rhythmic storyline. Highly recommended for elementary grade readers.

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Check out learning resources for the entire family at


A Farm Called Someday: A Novel of 1950s Montana

Written by Penelope Merrell

This middle-grade novel provides a fascinating glimpse into one family’s growth and evolution. The narrator is one of four sisters who describes her coming of age within a family that matures along with her.

Valene loves to write. The reader is treated to her reminiscences through her journal. It describes the struggles of a family who are fiercely devoted to each other yet defined by distinct differences. Valene loves horses and dreams of owning one Her family needs to make many sacrifices before they can buy their own farm. The word someday always seems far off. That is why Valene thinks it is the perfect name for their farm.

Readers learn what life is like growing up on a farm. How does one feed and care for animals, and live without conveniences like central heat and running water? Merrell’s drawings help readers visualize what a 50s washing machine and iron look like. She describes the stringing of lines for telephones, and the Sears Wish Book Catalog.

Many of the trials and tribulations of growing up have not changed. Teasing, bullying, and jockeying for power among siblings are still present. Merrell brings her characters to life. Today’s youth learn a lot about the past and how to appreciate modern conveniences, while getting a good flavor of living on a 1950s Montana farm.

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Check out learning opportunities for the whole family at


Finding Freckles, Diary of My Best Friend, Horsing Around

Written by Molly Lawson

This middle-grade chapter book is narrated by Emma Williams, an eleven-year-old girl living in a rural South African village. The impetus for the diary is a writing assignment from Emma’s English teacher.

Emma writes honestly and openly. She reveals her hopes, fears, and dreams. Her fervent desire is to own a horse and become an expert jumper. Unfortunately, her single mom cannot afford to buy her a horse. Luckily, Emma’s best friend, Christine, lives on a neighboring farm. Christine is a good rider and that allows Emma to be around horses.

Emma’s story pulls the reader in because she is relatable to her readers. The characters are believable and appealing to a middle-grade audience. Not only do readers learn about horses, but they also pick up knowledge of geography and South African culture. This is book 1 of a series that promises to be the first of an interesting series. Will Emma achieve her dreams?

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Mary’s Song (Dream Horse Adventures Book 1)

Written by Susan Count

Mary is a twelve-year-old handicapped young lady. Her mother died when she was three; no one wants to talk about it. Mary lives with her father and a housekeeper. The story is set in 1952. Her father constantly searches for a possible medical breakthrough to cure his daughter. Mary is strong-willed and determined. Her best friend, Laura, rides and cares for horses at her home. The girls become obsessed with saving a horse named Illusion who needs surgery. They find ways of earning money toward that end.

Mary’s overprotective father frequently gets upset with Mary’s obstinate behavior. Laura and Mary disobey their parents and end up in trouble often, but that means lots of interesting adventures along the way. Will the girls be able to save Illusion? Can Mary’s father find a medical cure to help Laura walk again?

Middle-grade and young adult readers will find the antics of these two friends’ fun and endearing. There is lots of humor and a few surprises in store for readers. Two strong female role models and a tender story of animal affection will appeal to a wide audience. Highly recommended. I look forward to reading the sequel.

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Tails of Sweetbrier

Written by Deanie Humphrys- Dunne

Illustrated by Holly Humphrys-Bajaj


A warm and moving autobiography of a girl who had a dream of riding horses. That might not seem so tough to achieve until you discover that Deanie was afflicted with cerebral palsy. Deanie convinces her parents that she will work hard to achieve that dream, and her father opens up a riding school to support that dream.

Readers follow Deanie’s journey as she learns to walk, trot and canter on her pony, Little Man. As her confidence grows, she begins to dream of loftier goals. Despite a family tragedy with a barn fire that results in the loss of her horse, Chiefie, Deanie and her family persevere and rebuild. We follow their successes and failures as well as the physical hardships that Deanie endures.

The author teachers her young readers to reach for the stars. Work hard to achieve your dreams and use the challenges and failures that occur along the way as a ladder to climb to success. Beautifully written story written in less than one hundred pages that make it perfect for a middle grade and young adult audience. Deanie’s physical challenges and determination also provide inspiration for those with special needs and learning disabilities. The black and white illustrations draw the reader into the story and personalize the narrative enhancing its appeal. Highly recommended for readers age eight and older, especially those who love horses.

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Flip and the Cows

Written and Illustrated by Wesley Dennis


This book was originally copyrighted in 1942. The copyright was renewed in 1970 and reprinted by Scholastic Books in paperback format.

Flip is a young, energetic, black colt with a taste of adventure. When he views the sharp horns of the cows standing beyond the fence, Flip is afraid. Flip does not understand the basis for the fear, yet it is strong. Once day he starts to back up to get away, when he finds himself colliding with his mother. She nips him and Flip runs away. Little does he realize he is rushing headlong into a herd of cows. How will they react to Flip? Are his fears unfounded?

This book with black and white illustrations is soft and sweet. Dennis illustrated more than 150 children’s books. His most famous works are Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty and John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony. Dennis combined his artistic talents with author Marguerite Henry on fifteen children’s books featuring horses. Born in 1903, Dennis began his career as a newspaper illustrator later working as a children’s book illustrator until his death in 1966.

I purchased this book for my children in the 1970’s. They spent summers in an area peppered by farms containing cows and horses so this was a favorite read. Recommended as a bedtime story vintage classic or as an easy beginning reader. Check your library. A few used copies are available on Amazon.

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