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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
It doesn’t matter how big you are, physically that is. What really matters is how big your heart is, metaphorically speaking, and how much determination you possess to achieve your goals regardless of your size. That’s what makes one big: big heart and big determination. Thunder is a small horse, a miniature horse. He lives in a pasture full of large horses, Clydesdales. Thunder is a big powerful name for a tiny little horse, but what he lacks in physical size, he makes up for it in determination. He might not be as tall as his pasture-mates, but he can do things they can’t, like reach the tiniest, tastiest morsels of clover growing in the grass and sneaking under the wire to find even tastier treats beyond the confines of the pasture. He never runs away. In fact, when he forages beyond the pasture, Thunder is always willing and eager to share his pickings with his pasture-mates. He’s friendly, loving and has a really big heart.
Mary Fichtner’s picture book story, The Big Battle of Thunder the Smallest War Horse, is a charming story about a little horse. Told in rhyming verse and accompanied by simple, folkish, colorful illustrations, Thunder’s story teaches the young reader an important lesson while entertaining them, too. It’s important to appreciate what gifts we do have in life, instead of bemoaning what we lack. Thunder, the miniature horse, teaches us how to do this. The young reader will also learn about miniature horses and Clydesdales and how important it is to respect and care for one another. The Big Battle of Thunder the Smallest War Horse by Mary Fichtner is a simple story with a powerful message. I loved it.