Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Review: Jessie Haas - Horse Crazy!

Horse Crazy!
1001 Fun Facts, Craft Projects, Games, Activities and Know-How for Horse-Loving Kids
Storey Publishing, 2009
£8.94 from Book Depository

Thanks to Storey Publishing for sending me this book to review.

This is Jessie Haas' book for horse crazy children: the nearest equivalent I can think of in the UK is the Pony Magazine Annual, but this is a much less frenetic read than that. Horse Crazy is full of equine facts, and dozens of projects: you can make a felt horse, find several different ways of plaiting manes; learn how to write your own horse story and make any amount of pony-themed things (and, as they say, much, much more). If you don't have a horse, that doesn't matter a bit: although there are things to do if you have a pony, there is far more that doesn't require one at all.

Although the book is American, and much of its information is based on American breeds and ways of doing things, the vast majority of it is still relevant to the UK, and even if it isn't, it's still interesting to find out how things are done. For any pony mad child, and particularly one who likes making things, this book will keep them quiet for hours.

They are unlikely to notice that the editing is occasionally a little peculiar: the book starts with a few pages on prehistoric horses, and then with a turn of the page you are into making a horseshoe photoframe, with the story of the early horse seemingly left hanging. This bamboozled me until I realised the story was continued after the photo frame. That is a minor quibble though; this is a thoroughly enjoyable book. Jessie Haas has no particular equine axe to grind: she suggests the reader makes their own mind up about contentious issues, which makes her a relief after some of the American authors I've been researching recently. She is always readable, never patronising, and is just the sort of adult I wish had been at my side as a ponymad child - never short of something to suggest, and better still, the sort of thing you actually want to do.

3 comments:

Val said...

Excellent review
Many Thanks
It's now on the Christmas list!!!!

Village Square Booksellers said...

Too bad you're not in the US- we have Jessie Haas coming to our bookstore this Sunday Sept 26th, for an author event. She's a lot of fun to meet.
http://www.villagesquarebooks.com/event/jessie-haas-author-horse-crazy

Jane Badger said...

Thanks Val!

VSB - I am jealous. I hope it all goes well!