On the lookout for some great horse books? Join the club!
Some kids want to be pirates, some want to be fairies, and some want to be dinosaurs. Many young people want to ride horses at some point, and they dream of owning and taking care of their own horse.
It’s not just owning a horse that these kids love. They love anything to do with horses, even reading horse books! As long as it lets them play around with that fantasy, they’re in for the ride!
‘Noni the Pony’, ‘Noni the Pony Goes to the Beach’ and ‘Noni the Pony Rescues a Joey’ written and illustrated by Alison Lester.
Ages 1 and up. These two aren’t the only things this woman makes that are great. This is a rhyming story for young children. Noni the Pony is the nicest pony you’ll ever meet. There is a lot to like about Noni the Pony. When it’s sunny, she likes to go to the beach. As long as Dave Dog and Coco the Cat are there to help her, it will be a great day. Alison Lester’s books are a favorite of children and adults all over the world because they are so good.
‘Rosie’s Magic Horse’ written by Russell Hoban and illustrated by Quentin Blake.
Ages 3 and up. This story starts with a stick of ice-cream. It is sad and alone until a little girl named Rosie comes along. It has lost its sweetness. Her cigar box is full of other sticks. She carefully places this one in the middle of the box. With out our ice-cream, we’re nothing, says a long-old stick. But the new stick wants to be something, and he plants dreams in the minds of all the old sticks, too. What about Rosie’s dreams that night? She wants to be able to help her parents pay the bills. And at midnight, magic and dreams meet. A HORSE comes out of the cigar box! Stickerino is the name of the person who runs the place. He asks Rosie where he should go. Anywhere that has treasure! Her answer is yes, and she jumps up on its back. That’s when a whole new kind of adventure starts: ice-lolly mountains by the sea and pirates foiled by a stickling ice cream van.
‘Hello, Horse’ written by Vivian French and illustrated by Catherine Rayner.
Ages 5 and up. This new book is part of the Nature Storybook series, which I love. It’s a mix of fiction and nonfiction text in a format that’s easy to read. Hello, People who don’t know much about horses or who are afraid of them can meet Shannon, a friendly bay mare, with ease. The text in the subtext is full of practical advice, like how to give a carrot. It also talks about their behavior, like how horses need to be with other people. This book is a warm and funny way to learn about horses from the comfort of your own home!
‘Jerry’ written by Ursula Dubosarsky and illustrated by Patricia Mullins.
Ages 5 and up. I have read “Jerry” so many times, but I still get teary-eyed when I see how beautiful it is. The white horse, even a very old one like Jerry, has a special power for Martha. A book like this one for people who are just starting to read chapter books is one of my favorite things. You can find out more about them here.
‘Hide that Horse’ written by David Metzenthen and illustrated by Leigh Hobbs
Ages 5 and up. A book like this one for people who are just starting to read chapter books is one of my favorite things. You can find out more about them here. Even if the horse is very small, it’s not easy to hide it. When Ranger Dooley hates horses, Tim and Mr. Conroy will have to use all their brains to keep little Percy from being caught by him.
‘The Wish Pony’ by Catherine Bateson.
Ages 6 and up. Even though this classic story isn’t all about horses, it perfectly captures the everyday world and the magic of childhood. Because Ruby’s mom is going to have a baby, but why does she need another one? Sarah, her best friend, has just found a new, better friend. This makes things even worse. Everyone seems to be leaving her. This all changes when Ruby meets the mysterious Magda, who gives her something very special. She gets to play with a little glass horse that she thinks might be a little magical!
‘Horse Crazy: The Complete Adventures of Bonnie and Sam’ written by Alison Lester and illustrated by Roland Harvey.
Ages 7 and up. If you want to read four stories about Bonnie and Sam written by two of Australia’s best writers for kids, this is the best way to do it. Horse books written by people who own horses are better than books written by people who don’t own horses. It’s a good thing that Bonnie and Sam are best friends. They are the only people who love horses the way they do, and no one else is like that. She speaks to them when she whispers. Sam always knows if they need a drink or a hug or a race around the paddock when she talks to them. They have four great adventures together: The Shadow Brumby, the Circus Pony, racing against the tide, and saving Mr. Pinto, so come along with them.
‘Spud and Charlie’ written by Samantha Wheeler.
Ages 8 and up. In this book, Sam has a real passion for horses, and it shows in the writing. It’s great for horse-loving kids ages 8 to 12. In a riding camp, Charli is going to learn how to ride a real, live horse. This is her dream come true! However, when Mikaela picks the horse Charli wants, her heart flies to her feet. It’s not Razz, but Spud. Charli can’t ride the beautiful palomino Razz because Spud is a retired race horse. There are bats all over the night sky. No, bats don’t carry diseases that kill. Charli’s riding camp isn’t going the way she planned, especially when she finds herself in the middle of a life-threatening accident.
‘Do You Dare? The Last Horse Race’ written by James Moloney.
Ages 8 and up. James Moloney, a well-known author, wrote this gripping story set in early Brisbane about a boy who wants to leave his past behind. You can read about the ‘Our Australian Girl’ books here. The ‘Do You Dare?’ books are for men. It says, “Do You Dare?” Stick up for your friends? Ride a horse at a high speed? For freedom, would you risk your life? It’s a journey through history. Do you have the courage?
‘Midnight’ written by Mark Greenwood and illustrated by Frane Lessac
Ages 8 and up. It’s a new picture book from an award-winning duo. At midnight, a foal is born on the side of the river where the family lives. Black coal. Stars are on fire. Moonlight shines in her eyes. It was one of the last great cavalry charges in history. On October 31, 1917, the 4th and 12th Regiments of the Australian Light Horse took part in one of them. Lieutenant Guy Haydon was one of the first soldiers to jump over the trenches of the enemy. He was riding his horse, Midnight, which he loved very much. This is how they lived.