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Back in the Saddle (Catherine Hapka)

on December 12, 2011

Back in the saddle

Back in the Saddle by Catherine Hapka

Age: Beginning Reader (K to 2nd grade)

Genre: Animals / Horse riding

Harper, 2011  / 978061255397 / 32 pages

The Pony Scouts; Annie, Jill and Meg are very excited to go home with Jill afterschool. Jill lives on a pony farm, and the girls get to see the horses and ride them too. During a riding exercise called The Windmill, Annie fell off the horse, and had to overcome her fear to get back in the saddle.

This book is perfect for anyone taking horse-riding lessons, or for children who love horses. Its a great lesson about getting past your fears. I love that Hapka wrote out Annie’s though process in the decision to get back on the horse or to wait. Annie realized that if she waited, she might be even more scared later on.  thus realizing all the fun she would miss out on if she didn’t get past that fear.

The story is simple to follow and the author uses a lot of horse riding terminology. There is even a page in the back called Pony Pointers, which is basically a glossary for the horse terminology used throughout the book, helping build vocabulary as well as being educational. The illustrations by Anne Kennedy are also colorful, but realistic. Kennedy uses a lot of browns and greens to really bring to live the country and field setting of the story.

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