Sharon Lerner is an Emmy Award winning writer and producer
who helped to develop two highly acclaimed television series,
Sesame Street and Between the Lions. A champion of
children s causes, Sharon is on the board of No Strings, a
nonprofit organization that teaches life-saving messages to youth
in developing countries.
Susan Jeffers is universally hailed as one of the foremost artists in the field. Among the many beautiful books she has illustrated are the Caldecott Honor Book Three Jovial Huntsmen and the New York Times bestseller Brother Eagle, Sister Sky."
PreS-Gr 2-This shortened, simplified version of Sewell's classic retains the broad outline of the original but eliminates many key events and glosses over the horses' suffering. Some incidents are compressed in time while others, such as the stable fire, the death of a drunken rider, and Ginger's suffering and death, are eliminated. Beauty sometimes softens the accounts of hardship with the observation, "that was not so bad." Jeffers's illustrations are the most impressive part of the book; almost all of them appeared in Robin McKinley's longer adaptation (Random, 1986). Some illustrations have been recolored or altered slightly. The horses outshine the humans, revealing the artist's love for and skill in depicting the magnificent animals. Because the earlier book includes much more of Jeffers's work and offers a more complete version of Black Beauty's story, libraries with that version will certainly want to retain it. Consider this new work as needed to satisfy demands for horse stories for young listeners not ready for the harsh conditions depicted in Sewell's novel.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.