Friday, June 20, 2014
Antonia, the Horse Whisperer - Elisabeth Zöller and Birgitte Kolloch
Antonia, the Horse Whisperer
Elisabeth Zöller and Birgitte Kolloch
Illustrations by Betina Gotzen-Beek
Sky Pony Press, 93 pages, Juvenile Fiction
Eleven-year-old Antonia Rosenburg helps care for the horses on her family-owned riding stables. She has big dreams of winning riding competitions, but those dreams are put on hold when her favorite horse is injured. When her family takes on a new client with a wild-mannered horse, Antonia discovers that she has a natural gift for reaching out to this horse. The problem: their client doesn't want an eleven-year-old near his precious horse. The other problem: the horse, Elfin Dance, won't go willingly to anyone else.
This book is a cute beginning to a promising series. Instead of being about winning a big horse competition or accomplishing amazing feats, Zöller and Kolloch focus on human-to-human and human-to-horse interactions. The problems Antonia faces are realistic and not overly dramatic. Antonia never doubts her natural gifts, even if others do. She takes action to solve her problems in a realistic way. There are no "bad guys" in this book, just problems that need solving.
This is a great transitional book from intermediate to juvenile fiction. The illustrations by Gotzen-Beek are cute and plentiful, which may help girls who are reluctant to move into more advanced books. It flows nicely and quickly. I look forward to more in the series.