Review Blog

Mar 13 2012

Lightning Jack by Glenda Millard and Patricia Mullins

cover image

Scholastic, 2012. ISBN 9781741693911.
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. From the moment that Sam Tully sees the stallion, black as midnight, in the muster at the park, he is determined to ride him. Together he and Lightning Jack stop a mob of steers from stampeding down the mountainside and elude a grazier who offers 500 steers for the horse. Like Pegasus, the horse rises into the sky :
'Horse of the gods, diviner's horse.
The horse called Lightning Jack.'
More adventures follow as they evade Ned Kelly who wants a horse as fast as Lightning Jack and then they race against the legendary but ghostly Phar Lap.
Millard has written a wonderful poem that will remain in the minds of all who hear it. She has taken different aspects of horses from folklore and legend and made them into one huge adventure for the imaginative Sam. Written in the style of The man from Snowy River, this story begs to be read out loud so that the listener can gain the movement and flight of the horse and the dreams of Sam Tully.
Patricia Mullins has captured the beauty and the movement of the black stallion as it gallops with the herd, dares Sam to ride him and then changes into a wonderful creature of mythical proportions. Finally the reader sees him as a carousel horse. The black of the stallion stands out against the beautiful yellows, greens and blues of the landscape and sky.
The combination of the beautiful collages and drawings and a wonderful verse story make this is an outstanding picture book, which is not to be missed.
Pat Pledger

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