Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Horse Pie

Horse Pie

Dick King-Smith
For ages 5 to 8
Random House UK, 2006   ISBN: 978-0552554329

Jenny is a donkey, and the time has come for her to retire. Poor Jenny just isn't up to carrying children up and down the beach for hours any more. Thankfully a retirement home is found for her and soon Jenny is living in a field at The Old Horses Home. Unfortunately three of the horses in the field are the most stuck-up and unpleasant horse characters you could ever imagine meeting. Captain and Ladybird are both large Shire horses and Herbert is a Suffolk Punch and the three of them think that they are far too superior to have to share a field with a bunch of worn out horses, ponies, and now a tired old beach donkey.

Even though Captain, Ladybird and Herbert treat Jenny very badly indeed, Jenny cannot help feeling worried about them. She has heard that there are horse rustlers about and if they get hold of the three big horses, Captain, Ladybird and Herbert could very well end up being shipped to France to be turned into horse pie. The very idea makes kind-hearted Jenny shiver in her donkey shoes. Surely there must be something that she can do if the rustlers try to steal Captain, Ladybird and Herbert.

Jenny the donkey is just the kind of character that small children will grow to love in no time. Brave, generous, and not the kind of animal to let herself be bullied, Jenny's chapter book adventure is sure to become a firm favorite. Dick King-Smith once again has created a character who prevails despite difficult odds and who somehow manages to come out on top in a human dominated world.