Bonnie and Sam are best friends who love horses. They befriend the ponies and horses in their Austrialian townexcept for one, Drover, who used to be wild. All she dreams about is getting back to the mountains to be free. One evening, when a wild, mountain horse—who could be Drover's twin—comes face to face with the cantankerous, corralled Drover, both horses get their chance at a new life. Illustrated with lively watercolor throughout, this endearing tale is a sure hit.
This lighthearted early chapter book, which launches the Horse Crazy series, is set in Lester's (Are We There Yet?) and Harvey's (In the City: Our Scrapbook of Souvenirs) native Australia. Horse-loving best friends Bonnie and Sam detect a change in Drover, the mare that Sam's father rides on his police rounds. Longing to run free, Drover, it turns out, has swapped places with an identical brumby (wild horse) that prefers the safety of the paddock ("Both horses saw the life they wanted, with only the fence in their way"). After the girls secretly break in the "new Drover" to prepare her for her job, the horse takes some humorous missteps following a baker into his shop before finally getting a chance to save the day. Harvey's ink and watercolor pictures cheerily depict life in the bush and capture the personalities of the heroines and their equine friends. Off to a snappy start, the series continues with The Circus Horse, also out. Ages 5 8.