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Review Detail

Children's Books November 23, 2015
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This middle-grade chapter book focuses on the life of Charlene the Star, a jumping horse, and her animal friends. Charlene and two fellow horses, Ann and Blossom, have an interesting assortment of friends that come to live near the stables. Elliott is a talented dog, Hattie, a chicken who likes to wear fashionable bonnets, Wooliam, a tender-hearted sheep, Patsy the Pig, and two new horses, Tiger Lily and Lucky Charming.

At the beginning of the tale, Charlene, Ann, and Blossom notice that the newest racing horse, Tiger Lily, is afraid of getting bumped and dislikes mud ion her face. Neither of these characteristics is conducive to being a winner. The three friends set up a horse training program and they slowly encourage Tiger Lily to overcome her handicaps. Wooliam befriends her and encourages her as the others train her to become a winner. Later on in the tale, Lucky Charming enters their program. He learns to enjoy racing and instill the values of good sportsmanship in others.

The personification is really effective. Readers identify with the animals and their human characteristics. Children learn how teamwork, cooperation, and perseverance pay off. They come to understand that winning does not mean gloating. Self-esteem should not equal arrogance. Wooliam models self-lessness when he sets up a charitable fund to help orphans and less fortunate animals.Hard work does pay off, but success does not come without sacrifice and much effort.

Highly recommended for middle-grade readers, especially those in third to fifth grade.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and voluntarily decided to read and review giving my honest opinions for no monetary compensation.

March 13, 2018
By Barbara Mojica
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