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Horse Books are All About Family

Horse books mean family for me. My earliest memory of a children's horse book is my father's nightly reading of Little Black, A Pony, or Little Black Goes to the Circus. They are early chapter books, among the easiest horse books for beginning readers at that time. (Now there are others, including the Cowgirl Kate books and my own Bramble and Maggie books, Jigsaw Pony, and the Beware books.

I loved Little Black, a gorgeous black pony with a swoopy mane and tail. He was locked in struggle with the larger horse, Big Red, for the love and loyalty of a boy whose name I can't remember. That didn't sink in in 300+ readings!

I rooted for Little Black to keep the boy's love and prove his own worth, and sorely missed the passion of these stories when I got to school and encountered Dick and Jane, literature's most boring kids. Then I lost sight of Little Black, falling in love with Marguerite Henry's Sham and Walter Farley's The Black.

One day I found our copy of Little Black, and got the shock of my life. Little Black was by Walter Farley!

No wonder! No wonder I loved The Black Stallion. No wonder I ended up having a big red horse and a smaller dark one. No wonder almost everything about my book Runaway Radish, the one I often cite when kids ask "What's your favorite book that you've written?" No wonder I'm a writer. No wonder I love to write about horses.

So thank you, Dad. You probably would have liked to read something else once in awhile. I'm so glad you didn't.
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