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In 1999, 53 percent of children ages 3 to 5 were read to daily by a family member, the same as in 1993 after increasin... More
Summary: Henrietta is a foal at PawPaw's farm. She likes being with her mom and PawPaw, but everything else is scary. With help from her mom, she learns to see that there is a big world out there, and horses are just one part of it. This is a picture book about fear, diversity, and friendship.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, learning to read, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 9
Interest Level: 4 to 6
Age of Child: Read with 5-year-old child.
Young Reader Reaction: Getting our child to sit through this book more than once took some coaxing. When asked if s/he liked the book, the answer is "yes," but our child could not tell us anything about the story other than the horse splashes in the puddle after several readings.
Adult Reader Reaction: The author has a great idea for the book, but it doesn't come together well. Opening the book with definitions of bipeds and quadrupeds isn't necessary. Also, there are times when the author goes to great lengths to explain something, and others where she assumes knowledge either on behalf of the character or the reader.
Pros: There are simple lessons about seeing the world in a context bigger than yourself that is valuable for young children.
Cons: The pictures of bipeds and quadrupeds in the front of the book don't match the characters in the story. Having the definitions is great, but to ask kids to answer questions before someone has read a single page is a little disconcerting for them. They want FAMILIAR. Since the definitions aren't essential to the story's theme put them in the back.
Borrow or Buy: Skip it. There are some wonderful stories about diversity, friendship, and acceptance where you don't have to work so hard to share the message.
Educational Themes: Although there are gaps, the book offers opportunities to talk about feelings and changes: fear, sharing, friendship, new things, acceptance, diversity, learning. You can also take the non-fiction piece (quadruped and biped) to talk about animals and their traits.