Rachel lives on a barge. When her teacher asks the class to bring pets to school, Rachel's parents forbid her to take Snowy, because he's a working horse, but then a school outing to the barge is arranged, so everyone can meet him. Berlie Doherty has twice won the Carnegie Medal.
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A two-time Carnegie winner, acclaimed for her poetic, richly perceptive novels (Granny Was a Buffer Girl, 1988), gives a uniquely British flavor to a familiar scenario: Miss Smith asks her students to bring their pets to school; when Rachel can't produce the one she glowingly describes (``He's as big as a mountain...And he's got bells and ribbons and a swingletree. And he smells like a haystack''), her friends' laughter is incredulous. But Rachel's story is true: her family makes a living by taking people on their barge-home, pulled along the canal by their huge horse. Snowy has a job to do, and can't come to school--but Miss Smith and Rachel's parents work out a satisfying alternative: the whole class gets a ride on the barge. It's a little surprising that the children don't already know of this enticing local attraction, and the gratuitous ``mom'' jars (if ``mum'' is to be avoided, why not say ``mother''?), but never mind: Doherty enriches her simple, gracefully told story with vividly concrete description, while Bowen's luminous, full-bleed pastel illustrations draw one into the very English canal-side setting, with its low brick bridges, flat, pastoral surroundings, intriguing water-borne homes, and wonderfully observed horse. (Picture book. 4-8) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Rachel desperately wants to participate in pet day at school, but her parents tell her that Snowy, the white horse that tows the family's barge, will be working at the time. But not to worry: in this heartwarming if idealized story, Rachel's sympathetic teacher arranges for her students to ride the barge and meet Snowy, festooned with ribbons and bells, and pleasingly smelling of haystacks. While canal rides and barges are probably more European than American (this book was first published in England), children everywhere will understand Rachel's need to feel accepted. The impressionistic pastel crayon drawings of the countryside are richly hued in greens, golds and indigos; for horse lovers, a particularly beautiful spread shows Snowy full-figure. The pictures really come alive, though, when the brightly painted barge appears ("just like a painted swan") and the children enjoy a slow trip down the canal in the warm country air. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Picture Lions, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Keith Bowen (illustrator). book. Bookseller Inventory # M0006642977