Horse of fire: Horse stories from around the world by Lari Don

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Bloomsbury Education, 2016. ISBN 9781472920966
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Myths and legends. Horses. Unicorns. Short stories. The fabulous black horse on the front cover will entice any reader who likes horses to open up this book and dip into the amazing array of stories about horses. As the author writes on her website, 'Any story with a horse in it has so much potential - for speed, for power, for beauty, even for magic. Lots of the adventures I write (about centaurs and about kelpies) are inspired by old myths, legends and folktales about horses, so I've gathered my favourite horse stories into this collection.'
Narrated in a conversational tone, the stories include many tales from all around the world. Of course, the first, Pegasus and the monsters will be one that readers will want to try immediately as the name Pegasus has so many connotations, and they won't be disappointed to learn about the beautiful Pegasus and the heroes who used him to effect rescues. Another one that I really liked was the Scottish folktale, The kelpie with the tangled mane, which tells the story of Meg who lives beside a loch where mythical kelpies and water bulls live. Flint Feet is a Navajo tale of the creation of the first people and the way they used horses while What you learn at Wolf School is a humorous story about a wolf who thinks that he is very clever. At the back of the book, the author has given the origins of each story and the name of a text where it could be found, providing a good bibliography for those who might like to further pursue their interest in these myths.
All the stories were very enjoyable and would be ideal to read aloud to children at home or in the classroom. Independent readers who love myths and legends as well as horses will enjoy the variety of stories.
Pat Pledger