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Reviewed by Donna Gielow McFarland for Readers' Favorite
Percy: The Racehorse Who Didn’t Like to Run by award-winning author M.J. Evans is a sweet, touching story in picture book form about a young colt bred to be a racehorse, but he doesn’t like to run around with the other colts and fillies. Percy would much rather smell the flowers and spend time with a little boy in a wheel chair who comes to visit every day. Percy’s mother insists that Percy was born to be a racehorse and his purpose is to run, so Percy is sad until an old mare suggests that, racehorse or not, Percy might have a more important purpose. It all becomes clear when the yearlings are sold at auction. At the end of the book, M.J. Evans includes a nice glossary of horse terms and some information for people who want to know more.
Much of the language in Percy: The Racehorse Who Didn’t Like to Run is rich in vocabulary and Gaspar Sabater’s full color illustrations are simple but pleasing. I thought M.J. Evans’ message in Percy is beautifully conveyed: be yourself, find your own purpose, but the story was even more than that. This short picture book actually made me cry a little! M.J. Evans has figured out how to write beyond a good story to reach out and touch hearts. Highly recommended for children of picture book age, whether horse lovers or not, whether disabled or not. Percy: The Racehorse Who Didn’t Like to Run is an inspirational and beautiful story to read aloud.