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I RODE THE RED HORSE; SECRETARIAT'S BELMONT RACE

Author: Barbara M Libby

Illustrator: Barbara M. Libby

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Publisher: Eclipse Press, a Division of The Blood-Horse, Inc., ©2003

Material: hard cover

Summary: Ron Turcotte, Secretariat's jockey, introduces us to Secretariat. He tells us about their race at the Belmont Stakes in 1973, when Secretariat won the Triple Crown. This is a picture book biography of Secretariat's history victory.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 9

Interest Level: 5 to 9

Age of Child: Started reading with 4½-year-old child.

Young Reader Reaction: Our preschooler enjoyed the story and asked us to read it several times. S/He was particularly enamoured of the illustrations.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a nice story. The illustrations are just fabulous and complement the simplicity of the story's presentation very well; particularly for this target audience.

Pros: The story offers a re-cap of history in such a way that children can draw a story from it. Even if you don't know anything about horse-racing, you will enjoy the tale of a great race.

Cons: None, really. The Afterword is clearly for the parents/adult readers.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. Even non-race fans will enjoy this first-person tale about an unmatched event in sports history.

If You Liked This Book, Try: ROBIN: THE LOVABLE MORGAN HORSE   STAR OF WONDER (Lucky Foot Stable Series, #2)   NINE FAMOUS ARTISTS YOUR CHILDREN WILL LOVE; AN ART DISCOVERY PRIMER AND HANDBOOK FOR PARENTS AND THEIR CHILDREN

Educational Themes: This is an illustrated account of Secretariat's race at Belmont. The details about the horse's speed and size are interesting, but only valuable as learning tools if your kids are around horses or racing.

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - animal stories, sports, history

Date(s) Reviewed: September 2006

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