Back of the Book Blurb: Ideas are like horses, but Amy’s tend to run wild. With a little help, Amy learns how to guide her ideas in constructive ways. This book was born because an impulsive child needed a metaphor for controlling her ideas. It is available now so that it can help other children as well.
She is Too Fond of Books’ Review: Hold on to Your Horses is a fun picture book that uses horses as a metaphor for children’s ideas and enthusiasm. A horse can be wild and out of control, it can gallop happily and cause no harm, or it can be led to a shady meadow for some quiet time.
Amy, the little girl in the story, wants to take good care of her idea horses, so they don’t run away. After she has some practice controlling her horses, she and her mother have the following scene:
“Mommy! I held on to my horses!”
“You did? That’s wonderful!” Mommy clapped her hands.
“Yes. They’re right here!” Amy pointed to her head. “Tomorrow I’ll ride them to more good places.”
I’ve read this book with my younger children (4 and 6 years old); they both enjoy Tayler’s text and Call’s whimsical illustrations. LW6 really understands the metaphor and has told me, “I have a wild horse running around my head and he wants to get out!” So, we have times when the kids (and their ideas and actions) are galloping around the house, but I’ve been able to connect them with the book and bring them back under control (sometimes … there’s no “magic bullet” for parenting, after all!)
Understanding idioms can often be difficult for children who take language literally, especially those for whom English is not the primary language spoken at home. Hold on to Your Horses is an excellent way to introduce them to our wide variety of idiomatic expressions. We expanded the conversation to include “raining cats and dogs,” “up a creek,” and “a piece of cake.”
The story of how Hold on to Your Horses came to be, as well as a PDF download of the book and more information about the author and illustrator, are available at their website.
Hold on to Your Horses is available for purchase directly from the website or from amazon.
Many thanks to Angela Tayler for providing me with a review copy; the book has quickly become a favorite for my family.