Book Review: “If I Ran the Horse Show”

Book Review: “If I Ran the Horse Show” by Bonnie Worth with illustrations by Aristides Ruiz and Joe Mathieu.

This lovely 48-page children’s book – recommended for beginning readers ages 6-8 – is a wonderful overview of how a horse show is run, popular horse breeds, horse anatomy, tack, and horsemanship terminology. In fact, it’s so wonderful, I’m planning on gifting it to my non-horsey friends to expand their understanding of my horse speak. Book review Horse Show

This book is from The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library. Dr. Seuss’ famous feline is Nick and Sally’s rhyming guide as they learn about many things equine. Thing 1 and Thing 2 are on hand to help too. The Cat’s savvy explanation of what a farrier does is one of my favorites. 

“He heats up horseshoes until they are hot, then nails them on tight. Does it hurt? It does not!”


This ditty touches my Arabian-horse-loving heart:

“With large eyes and nostrils and a dainty muzzle, its easy to handle and happy to nuzzle.”

I admire this teaching tool for it’s “For Further Reading” list, glossary and Index. All are very handy and I highly recommend this for yourself, a young or old horse lover or to help someone in your horse-showing universe some of what you’re up to.

The further reading list suggests what looks to be a natural progression for horse-loving children (or adults). “Judy Richter’s Riding for Kids” (Storey Publishing, 2003), targeted to readers ages 9-12. Richter has written several how-to equestrian books, as well as two memoirs, “Some Favorite Days” and “It Begins, It Ends.” She was an R-rated judge, a trainer, a clinician, She served on the US Equestrian Board of Director and was also a columnist for the The Chronicle of the Horse. Raised on a farm, she’s been in the horse business in Bedford, New York, for more than fifty years.

Per her Amazon author page, BONNIE WORTH is the author of countless books for young readers, among them the Cat in the Hat Learning Library books If I Ran the Rain Forest, Great Day for Pup!, Oh Say Can You Seed? (winner of the 2003 Ohio Farm Bureau Award), There’s No Place Like Space!, Wish for a Fish, Oh Say Can You Say Di-No-Saur?, Would You Rather Be a Pollywog?, Ice Is Nice!, and Safari, So Good! 

Bonnie Worth is one of the pen names of Kate Klimo. For many years, Kate was Vice President and Publisher of Random House Children’s Books, the one and only home of Dr. Seuss, aka Theodor Geisel. She lives in New Paltz, New York, with her husband and two horses.