This review is of a book whose author contacted me and although is not one of my usual reads (a children’s book about horses), it sounded like a special book. And here is my review.
Meeting of the Mustangs by Cathy Kennedy
For hundreds of years, generations of wild mustangs have roamed large parts of the western United States. Many of these magnificent animals can live their entire lives without ever seeing a single human being. Being completely self-sufficient, they inhabit the wilderness in groups, living together peacefully and posing no threat to any of the other animals with which they share the land.
Through knowledge that has been passed down to them from their ancestors, these horses are masters of survival and know what things to fear and how to protect themselves from those dangers.
This is the story of a special horse. His life begins much the same as the other young horses in his group, but will turn out to be much different. Through no fault of his own, he is separated from everything he has come to know and thrown into an entirely different way of life. Although his world changes drastically, his adventures continue until he finds himself in the unexpected position to repay a kindness that was once shown to him.
Friendship can sometimes be found in the least likely forms, in the most difficult times.
I was given an ARC copy of this book and I voluntarily choose to review it.
I don’t read children’s books often, but I’ve become quite interested in horses recently and was curious about this book, that is a short read.
The story is not a fairytale, but it follows the life of a mustang colt from a very young age.He loses his father from a young age, later gets separated from the band of horses he lives with (that includes his mother), lives a number of adventures, including some tragic ones, returns to the band and gets separated from them again. We read of his meetings with other animals, and also with human beings.
There’s no specific time reference, although it seems to take place in the recent past (there are phones but no mention of mobiles or high technology). The horse seems to be able to roam around freely through several states, only rarely coming into contact with human beings.
The story is told in the third person, but it changes point of view (it might not be that noticeable, although I wondered if it might result confusing). I thought at first that it was third person restricted, mostly from what appears to be the point of view of the horse, but at other times it seems to be their person omniscient (as the unknown narrator talks about humans, trucks, houses, that the horse couldn’t know, whilst at other times he doesn’t know what an apple is), and there are fragments from the points of view of some of the humans he comes across, from young children to adults (some with better intentions than others).
The mustang at the centre of the story is a free and wild animal that keeps running away from humans as if responding to a call. Although not as humanised as in some other stories for children, the author attributes some human qualities to the animal (who feels ashamed, grateful, lonely…) that will make it more interesting to children and might also help discuss important subjects with them.
The ending is not only positive but also provides a new beginning and promises more adventures for our friend.
The language is not overly complicated although will require good reading skills. It manages to paint a vivid picture of the landscape and the life of a horse that would make a great reading story for younger children too.
A somewhat idealised and nostalgic version of the life of wild horses that will enchant animal lovers.
Thanks so much to the author for sending me a copy of the book, thanks to all of you for reading, and please, like, share, comment and CLICK!