Book: Quincy and Buck (Quincy the Horse #3)
Author/Illustrator: Camille Matthews and Michelle Black
Source: Free from publisher
Genre: Children’s picture books
Illustration Rating: 5 stars
Readability Rating: 4 stars
Morality Rating: G
Who Should Read It: Kids who love animals, particularly horses. Recommended age 3-8.
Buy it: Amazon
Quincy and Buck Book Summary
Quincy the horse is excited to become a trail horse. However, when he uncovers some of the scarier parts of the trail along with a mean bully horse, he is not so sure trail riding is for him. Will Quincy be able to conquer his fears and become a great trail rider? Or will the bully prevent him from accomplishing his goals?
This book is one of several in the Quincy horse series, and offers an interesting twist at dealing with bullies told from the prospective of a horse. The illustrations were beautiful, and the text was easy to follow- and didn’t rhyme, which I was extremely pleased to see.
Plot: Basically, Quincy is starting to get trained as a trail horse, which I didn’t really know what that meant and wasn’t explained in the story, but it meant he had to be with another horse, Buck. Buck is a mean, bully horse, and Quincy is afraid of him. Through the story, Quincy learns how to deal with bullies, and in the end, realizes that he is braver than Buck in some ways.
I thought the lesson in the plot was a little forced, but for a book with a moral, it was enjoyable to read.
Monkey’s Opinion: My 7 year old daughter, Monkey, also read this book. She said it was “awesome.” Her favorite part was when Quincy was scared in the desert. She thought it was hilarious.
Writing: The writing is fair. The book is written on a child’s reading level, so the sentences are short and simple, but that can be good. Children who are just learning to read would be able to read this book on their own without too much trouble, although Monkey did have a bit of trouble pronouncing “Quincy” but other than that, she could read all the words with ease. I found the sort of chapter headings a little distracting, but they didn’t seem to bother Monkey.
Illustrations: My preference for picture books is for illustrations that look like realistic paintings- and this book definitely delivered on that score. Each page is beautifully done and full of rich colors. Kids who are not that interested in the story may still like looking at the pictures.
Feel: At first I thought this book took place in the past, but when a motorcycle showed up, I knew that had to be wrong. I guess anything with horses feels “old west” to me, regardless of whether that is true or not. I thought the universe was surprisingly immersive for such a short story.
Although the lesson seemed a little forced in spots, overall, the book is fun, exciting, pretty to look at, not too long, not too boring, and enjoyed by children- which is really all you can ask of a picture book.