Book review: “Charlie the Horse” by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne
A life-lesson book for young horse lovers
Reviewed by Lisa Graham Peterson
“Hmm, I might like running,” thinks Charlie. The newborn foal, looking every bit like his grand champion father with white stockings and crooked blaze, finds everything about his Kentucky home a curious, new adventure. He never stops discovering anew, as author Deanie Humphrys-Dunne weaves a delightful tale of Charlie’s journey to the winner’s circle.
A first chapter book for young readers, the story unfolds through Charlie’s eyes as he takes us from the comforts and friendships of his home at Racing Haven to training at Sweetbriar Racing and his competition debut, all the way to Churchill Downs and the lovely necklace of roses that he’d rather eat. Charlie has every intention of living up to his father’s racing legacy, but he knows he has much to learn and puts his trust in those around him, including his wise mentor, The General, to help him achieve his goals.
Becoming a winner isn’t easy for Charlie, even with everyone on his side. There are flowers to smell and butterflies to watch. He doesn’t want to hurt his friends’ feelings by running faster than they do, but, in the end, he realizes what he needs to do to be a winner. And he wants more than anything else to be a winner!
The big lesson for Charlie, like for many of us, is that reaching goals takes hard work, focus, and belief in oneself. And the trust of those around you.
Charlie the Horse is a light story of friendship, perseverance, and, of course, racehorses. It’s an easy read for youngsters (or a lovely narrative for reading aloud) punctuated with gentle illustrations by the author’s sister, Holly Humphrys-Bajaj.
Deanie Humphrys-Dunne has published seven other books, all with positive messages for children about growing up and navigating this world we share. Read more about her and follow her blog. Her books can also be found on Audible. Visit Amazon to learn more about all available formats.
MORE ABOUT THE REVIEWER: Lisa Graham-Peterson ( lisagrahampeterson.com ) is a Minnesota-based freelance writer and editor, and university professor. She doesn’t remember her first book about horses, but still owns her mother’s copy of Black Beauty. Horse lovers ran in the family. Photo credit: Joe Lemke
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