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Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite
Sox found himself in an alien world when he was born. His mother was there with him and he quickly adapted. It was very sweet listening as his mother explained things. When children excitedly and loudly approached the new foal, he rushed to warn his mother of danger. Once he realized they were safe he put on a little show for them, running and hopping. Like most youngsters, Sox was always full of questions. His favorite thing was when he was groomed. Everything was a new experience to Sox. Life was exciting. Sox’s favorite human was little Emma with freckles on her nose. Chapter 2 is entries from Emma’s diary. Emma was living with her grandmother until her mother returned home from deployment. Emma was not used to living in a rural area and she was very unhappy. After Emma got permission from her mom to take riding lessons she and Sox became close. Emma would talk to Sox and tell him her secrets, her fears and how much she missed her mom. Emma and Sox were kindred spirits.
I have to mention the remarkable illustrations first. They appear to be in pencil or maybe charcoal; no matter what the media was, the illustrations are charming. They complement the text. This delightful tale is narrated by Sox. While I lived on a farm I never had a horse. "Backyard Horse Tales" gave me a feeling of what it would be like to work with a horse each day. This book will appeal to children from second to sixth grade. While this book is a lovely horse tale I think there are also several lessons for both adults and children. Emma was very sad and missed her mother a lot. Obviously her grandmother loved her but it was the friendship of an animal that helped her survive her mother’s absence. Sox took Emma’s mind off of her mother. As she talked to him it eased her pain. There is also a lot of information in this book concerning horse, how they train them, what it is like to be a young foal and much more. I very much enjoyed this book.