While a goal of the author was certainly to impart some knowledge of horse care, it is integrated well for a child so the reader doesn't feel like new information is being thrown at them on every other page. Older kids with a real thirst for equine knowledge might be disappointed they didn't gain more insight, but hopefully this creates an interest for future books in the series.
Some facts a reader will learn include:
- The fact that you should not approach horses from behind and the reason why.
- Conversational introduction to terms such as lead ropes, tack rooms, hoof picks, cross-tying, 'hands-high', etc.
- If a reader keeps going after the story ends, pages 79-91 include Fun Horse Facts, some horse terms, and information on Common Horse Breeds. This section is fascinating even to adults!
I appreciate that the characters in this book aren't Beaver-Clever perfect. The family mentions being concerned about paying bills, the daughter struggles with a boasting classmate and with getting upset and saying something she shouldn't have (not in a disrespectful to authority way, it was an argument between kids). There are solid morals represented without being preachy, the little girl, Winnie, realizes she when she's made a mistake and knows what she should have done instead. Winnie does experience some natural consequences, but she also displays a sense of responsibility and compassion toward her sibling. There are mentions of prayer and occasional other references to God. I think this book is a great find due to its combination of gentle learning and character building. Having read a lot of Christian children's literature, some books are 'preachy' and this one is not. It could easily be enjoyed by someone who does not hold to the Christian faith but is not hostile to the mention of God.
***In the interest of full-disclosure, I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers for the purpose of reviewing. I am not required to give a positive review, my opinions expressed are genuine.