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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Bright Star is a pony, born in the Grayridge Mountains of the mythical kingdom of Kimbria. His story begins when Bright Star is born. He has a twin sister who really doesn’t look anything like him. At the age of three, Bright Star is adopted by a little girl from the nearby village. Keho takes him to her village and learns how to care for him and ride him. When Keho is older, she is taken away to another village to attend school. Bright Star is set free in the mountains to guard a herd of his own, but when Keho returns, they revisit their connection.
Told in first person, from Bright Star’s point of view, Aleksandra Layland’s picture book story for children, Bright Star: A Pony of the Kimbrii: A Windflower Saga Story for Kids, will charm readers both young and old. As Bright Star tells his story, readers will learn about the land where he was born and the people who care for him and the other ponies in his herd. Young readers will particularly enjoy following the love that grows between Bright Star and Keho, and the joy they have spending time together. This is a good story for animal lovers, but also a teaching tool for all readers on the importance of caring for horses, ponies, and all other creatures placed in our care.
At every step of Bright Star’s life, a human makes a decision for him, based on his well-being. Even when he’s too old to continue being a herd stallion, a guardian of a herd, Bright Star’s feelings are considered when he is placed in the loving care of his childhood friend, Keho, no longer a child, but with children of her own. This is a lovely story for young readers, taking a snippet of characters found in the author’s adult series of A Windflower Saga. The mythical kingdom of Kimbria, Bright Star’s home, comes alive in the words and marvellous illustrations of this book.