Title: Horse Show
Author: Kate Hayden
Publisher: DK Readers
May Contain Spoilers
Lucy, Alice, and Jack are getting ready for the horse show. Whose horse will win the ribbon? Find out what happens when the big day arrives! Longer sentences and an expanded vocabulary make this series of 48-page books slightly more challenging: Level 2 is appropriate for children who have started to read but still need help. Information boxes full of background information will stimulate inquisitive minds. These books contain between 700 and 850 words, and they are approximately 70 percent pictures and 30 percent text. The Dorling Kindersley Readers combine an enticing visual layout with high-interest, easy-to-read stories to captivate and delight young bookworms who are just getting started. Written by leading children’s authors and compiled in consultation with literacy experts, these engaging books build reader confidence along with a lifelong appreciation for nonfiction, classic stories, and biographies. There is a DK Reader to interest every child at every level, from preschool to grade 4.
I’m at a horse show this week, so when I saw that one of the girls from my barn had this book, I asked if I could borrow it. She was very happy to share it with me, and I have to say that I really enjoyed this beginning reader book. I have never heard of publisher DK before, but if all of their titles are as well written and interesting as this one, I will definitely be adding them to my list of pubs to further explore at the library.
Horse Show has a reading level of 2, which in the DK scheme of things means Beginning to Read Alone. This book is packed with vivid photos of ponies, and each picture helps to provide a visual key to highlight the activity taking place on the page. Three young riders are preparing for a horse show, and the book follows, with a great deal of accuracy, the steps involved. You can’t just load your mount and go to the fairgrounds. Nope! There is tack to clean, ponies to wash, and a trailer to load. Even the riders are expected to present themselves neatly and professionally. I have helped with all of these pre-show chores, including tail washing. Everything felt very familiar to me.
On show day, one of the young riders is challenged because his safe, comfortable mount has injured himself. Instead, Tom must take the less reliable and more temperamental Chester to the show, and Chester is a handful! I could really relate to Tom! Blondie can be a handful, too! She gets all wound up getting ready for shows, and she is just as fussy as Chester! It was fun reading along as Tom gained confidence with his difficult, but ultimately rewarding, pony.
Horse Show is a wonderfully accurate portrayal of the steps necessary to get ready for a show. The pictures add depth to the simple narrative, and as well as reinforce new terminology that is introduced throughout the text. The language is easy to understand, and this book will appeal to young readers who love horses and animals. I am glad I had the opportunity to borrow the book from my little horse loving friend.
Review copy borrowed from a friend