Black Beauty is a horse with a fine black coat, a white foot and a silver star on his forehead. Seen through his eyes, the story tells of his idyllic upbringing and the hardship and cruelty he suffers subsequently, before finding security and happiness in a new home.
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.