Why Do Horses Have Manes?
Kids Can Press (2009)
Reviewed by Lily Provenzano (age 11) for Reader Views (5/09)
No matter how small the book may be, or how short the paragraphs may seem, I, a horse-crazy geek that reads 90% only horse books, actually learned quite a few things from this book. “Why Do Horses Have Manes?” is a whole saddlebag of juicy information!
However, I did find a few faults in Elizabeth MacLeod’s writing. For example, I feel like some of the subjects could be a bit more in-depth. In Chapter 2: The Mane Tale, subtitle “Can Horses Really Sleep Standing Up?” it just briefly explains the science behind how the legs lock. I think that the author could have easily given plenty more information about how horses sleep with some simple revising.
I also think that some thoughts could be more complete. For instance, in Chapter 1: When Horses Flew, subtitle “Why Do Horses Let People Ride Them?” It says that nomads “…soon discovered that horses could help by carrying the heavier bundles…” I think that it may have sounded better if it said something like “… the nomads soon realized that horses could help them move from place to place by…”
Speaking of Chapter 1, I thought that the title “When Horses Flew” was a bit confusing. I tried to find some connection between it and what the chapter was about, but couldn’t really find anything. Maybe I just don’t get the saying! I also think that the organization in chapter one was a little weird. It went from information about some of the first domestic horses to movie stars that like horses today, to how smart horses are, etc. etc.
Now, don’t I sound critical? Overall, despite some things I’m picky about, I think that “Why Do Horses Have Manes” was a pretty good read! I’m glad I read it! I think it was really cool that Elizabeth put little graphs and tests throughout the book. They were fun! I ESPECIALLY liked the photography she used. I’ve always found horses breathtaking, and she chose pictures that really lived up to that!