The best-selling novel Black Beauty by Anna Sewell was published in 1877. The story is a first person narrative told from the perspective of the horse Black Beauty. This unique narrative perspective enables readers to empathize with the lives of working horses and to reflect upon the cruel treatment that has been inflicted upon them. As a result, the novel serves as a strenuous and timeless statement against animal cruelty and exploitation.
In a brisk adaptation of Anna Sewell's 1877 animal story, Black Beauty recounts his early life on a farm and the accident that leads him to become a work horse in London, where he is abused by his masters. Brown illustrates in a rich, pastoral style, capturing pivotal events that include a frightening barn fire and Black Beauty's collapse on cobblestone streets. Though Brown's adaptation moves quickly through the horse's many travails, her injuries and mistreatments still strike their intended emotional chords, making her eventual reunion with the kindly groom Joe Green in the bucolic final pages feel very well-deserved. Ages 4 9.