Sunday, December 19, 2010

Horse Diaries – Golden Sun

Whitney Sanderson
Illustrated by Ruth Sanderson

Little Turtle, is only nine winter’s old, when he chooses Golden Sun, an Appaloosa pony, for himself. Golden Sun, a quick learner, wants Little Turtle to be proud of him. Golden Sun listens closely when Little Turtle trains him so he will be proud of his pony. The spotted horses of Little Turtle’s tribe, the Nimi’ipuu, call the horses, such as Golden Sun, Maamin. Little Turtle is waiting patiently until Golden Sun is old enough, and big enough for him to ride. In the meantime, there is much for both of them to learn.

One day a young filly swims across the river that separates two tribes. The filly is stomping her back feet and snorting her nose, making a lot of noise. Golden Sun speaks to her, trying to calm her. A friend of Little Turtle, Pale Moon decides she likes the new filly and wants to keep her. Golden Sun speaks to the new filly about the tribe’s ways, but the filly is afraid, she has not been treated well. Pale Moon is kind to the filly, calls her Dancing Feather and gives her good food.

The two colts learn together and grow as their tribal counterparts. It is not long before they are bigger and racing side by side. Soon, Golden Sun accompanies Little Turtle to a very special time in his life; most horses are not allowed to go.

This is a very enjoyable read for young readers, especially those who like horses. The point of view is strictly from Golden Sun, and he manages to educate the reader while engaging them. The black and white illustrations are finely detailed allowing for an open window into the tribe’s life. At the end of the book, Sanderson included an appendix giving more information about the Appaloosa horses, which is very helpful and informational to the story. A great book to add to any library.

BIBLIO: 2010, Random House Books for Young Readers, Ages 8-12, $6.99.
REVIEWER: Debby Willett
FORMAT: Chapter Book / Juvenile Fiction
ISBN: 978-0-375-86194-9

REVIEWED FOR: Children’s Literature, Online Version, 11-5-10

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