Review: Decorated Horses

Posted on April 22, 2015

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Decorated HorseDecorated Horses
Written by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
Illustrated by Jeannie Brett
Charlesbridge
February 2015
48 pages

The lives of humans and horses have been intertwined for more than 9,000 years and it’s easy to see why. For centuries, horses were the primary mode of human transportation. As they conquered new lands, competed, and celebrated, humans have relied on horses and in turn shown their love and appreciation by decorating their beloved companions with elaborate battle armor and extravagant garments.

While the primary focus is on all the pretty horses, Patent masterfully lures readers in to an introductory lesson in world history which she has divided into three chapters. In “Warfare and Hunting”, readers learn how Egyptian soldiers, medieval knights, samurai warriors, Mongols, and American Indians outfitted their steeds for battle. “Performance and Competition” features Chinese drunken horses, prancing draft horses, performing circus horses, race horses, and the dancing desert horses. Horses have always played a huge role in “Ceremony and Celebration”, the final chapter. From the mystery of the Scythian horses to Sicilian cart horses to parade horses in Nigeria and California, no public event has ever been complete without decorated horses.

Brett’s pencil and watercolor illustrations deliver a procession of horses adorned with intricate armament in the excitement of battle and lavish costumes displaying the pageantry of parades. In a captivating trip through time, Decorated Horses pays homage to the hardest working creatures known to mankind.

Copyright (c) 2015 by Peggy Tibbetts

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