In the late 1800s, former slave and veterinarian Bill "Doc" Key realized that his new foal, Jim, was no ordinary horse. Believing in the power of kindness and patience, Doc taught Jim to spell, recognize the primary colors, and even make change from a cash register!
Performing in shows across the country, Jim stunned audiences with his incredible skills. But when some people called Jim a fake, Doc set out to prove them wrong and to show the world that, thanks to the power of kindness and patience, Jim was truly a wonder horse.
Caldecott Medalist Emily Arnold McCully's account of this fascinating, true story comes alive in her striking illustrations.Wonder Horse is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
A horse that recognizes the alphabet, fetches, and dances takes center stage in this true story from the late 19th century. McCully's tale is as much about the beloved and clever animal as it is about his owner and trainer, Bill Key. Born a slave, Bill also is an animal whisperer who "could soothe and... cure just about any creature." Later freed, Bill becomes a veterinarian known as Doc Key, and he spends years training a weak foal named Jim. Taking him on the road, he shows off the horse's many feats. "People will be amazed by how much you know. They will see that animals have feelings, and it's wrong to make them suffer." McCully (Manjiro: The Boy Who Risked His Life for Two Countries) brings the story to life through her watercolors, especially vig-nettes of Jim playing fetch and learning the alphabet. Despite hecklers and the racist attitudes of the Reconstruction-era South (briefly alluded to in the text, and explained more fully in author's notes), Jim and Doc Key are a testament to hard work and the nascent movement for humane treatment of animals. Ages 4 8.