When Irena sees the wooden horse in the junk shop, she wants to take it home with her. What she doesn't know is that this tattered little horse has a secret. The story was the Young Judges overall winner of the 1993 Smarties Award.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Magdalen Nabb is the author of the Josie Smith books and also an author of adult books in the crime genre. She is passionate about horses, which is evident in this title, but also writes about children showing an insight into their world and fantasies. Magdalen lives in Florence, ItalyFrom School Library Journal:
Grade 3-6-In this fast-paced fantasy, a neglected wooden horse is changed back into the beautiful mare it once was, through the loving care of a shy, lonely, preadolescent girl. Irina sees the old rocking horse in a junkstore window and decides she must have it. The proprietor, sensing her need for it, gives Bella to her, and tells her about a live Bella, a beautiful, once-wild horse that used to belong to a local farmer who mistreated her. As the wooden horse gradually comes to life, Irina blossoms. She is happier than she has ever been, especially when her Bella takes her on thrilling midnight rides. One cold winter night, the animal leaves the child to run through the hills with a herd of wild horses. Irina is devastated. Too late she realizes she has not heeded the storekeeper's warning "Never say that any creature on this earth is yours...." She withdraws into herself again-until Bella returns, bringing her injured foal for Irina to nurse. This time she promises herself to let it go when it is grown. In so doing, she frees herself to grow up. The message may seem obvious to some, but that will not deter young horse lovers and beginning readers of fantasy, who will be absorbed by the details of equistrian care, the magic of the animal's transformation, and the excitement of the late-night rides. The many fine black-and-white drawings convey Irina's sadness, Bella's magical changes, and the strong energy of the galloping horses.
Virginia Golodetz, St. Michael's College, Winooski, VT
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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