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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Harness Horses, Bucking Broncos & Pit Ponies, written and illustrated by Jeff Crosby and Shelley Ann Jackson. Tundra, 2011. $21.99 ages 6 and up

"But because the focus of this book is the history of horse breeds, the forty-three breeds you will read about here are organized by original purpose, beginning with the horse's oldest job and progressing to the most modern. You will see how each breed's history has influenced the way it looks and behaves today."

For anyone who has a passion for horses, you may have found the perfect Christmas gift! In well-researched text and carefully designed illustrations this husband and wife team share their love of these stately creatures and their journey through history to create a book that is sure to have wide ranging appeal for anyone interested in either or both.

The introduction begins with a quick look at the role that horses have played since as early as 10,000 BC and moves forward to this century when more than two hundred breeds are recognized. Often they are grouped by size but, in this book, the authors have chosen to divide the text into five chapters which allow young enthusiasts to glean information about the purposeful lives many of these horses have lead...rapid transit, military advantage, horsepower, equine entertainment, and feral horses.

Finally, the conclusion offers this tidbit:

"There are over fifty-eight million horses in the world today. They show great variety in shape, color, size and specialized features. From tiny miniature horses to massive draft breeds, humans have shaped the way horses look, act, and live."

Add to that a bibliography that sites book titles, a variety of articles and a host of  websites for further learning and you may be able to stroke one more name off your gift list.

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