Title: The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses
Author: Paul Goble
Genre: Native American / Animals / Folktale / Classic / Friendship
Year Published: 1978
Year Read: 2010
Publisher: Bradbury Press
Content Rating: Ages 6+ (Brief Scene of Blood)
I have been reading many Native American folktales lately and I have recently stumbled upon this little gem called “The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses.” “The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses” is a Caldecott Medal award winning book by Paul Goble which is about how a young Native American girl’s love for horses has led her to the land of the wild horses and how she has to make the decision of her life to be happy forever. “The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses” is a true classic tale that every child will enjoy for many years!
I have read many Native American folktales in my time, but never have I read one so full of luscious illustrations and an amazing story! Paul Goble has done a beautiful job at retelling an ancient Native American folktale and what I loved about his writing was how he made the girl into such a kindhearted character and it was so interesting seeing her love for the horses as she would constantly feed them and talk to them. I also loved the way that Paul Goble made this story extremely dramatic, especially during the thunderstorm scene as Paul Goble made it seriously intense. When I was reading the thunderstorm scene, I was practically on the edge of my seat hoping that the girl and the horses would make it to safety! Paul Goble’s illustrations are the true highlights in this story as they are extremely beautiful and creative to look at. I loved the way that Paul Goble illustrated the girl as having a blue dress and there are beautiful white designs scattered all over the girl’s blue dress which makes the girl look truly regal. I also loved the images of the horses themselves as they truly defined the beauty that they show the girl as they are brown and are drawn in an elegant way. But my most favorite image in this book was the image of the thunderstorm as it truly does look threatening as the clouds are extremely black and it swirls around menacingly around the girl and the horses and that truly made the scene more intense.
Parents should know that there is a brief image of blood shown at the beginning of the page as a buffalo is pierced by an arrow. It is a very small image, but still, children who do not like the sight of blood might want to skip over this scene.
Overall, “The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses” is a brilliant and memorable book for children who love reading Native American folktales and also has an extreme love for horses! I would recommend this book to children ages six and up since the image of a buffalo being pierced might unsettle smaller children.
* 2000 NCSS/CBC Notable Children's Trade Book for Field of Social Studies
* An ALA Notable Children's Book
* Library of Congress Children's Book Award