Black Beauty

by Anna Sewell (Author)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

Black Beauty's story improved the lives of horses all over the world. Seen through his own eyes, young horse lovers will be swept up in his incredible journey from a peaceful paddock to the streets of London. No matter what he encounters, nothing can break Black Beauty's spirit.

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School Library Journal

Gr 1–3—This retelling joins several other picture book versions. It begins with a short foreword explaining the intent and impact of Sewell's work. Brown touches on major points from the original and maintains the horse's perspective. The story starts with Black Beauty following his mother's advice and trusting his instincts to save his stablemate, Ginger, from a fire and his master from a flooded bridge. In broad strokes, Brown covers the protagonist's life as a carriage horse, cab horse, and workhorse and concludes with the animal's reunion with his favorite groom. In keeping with the original, Black Beauty's cruel treatment is evident in the text and illustrations, but Brown omits gritty details, and the harsher aspects are balanced by happier times. The traditional, watercolor-style illustrations not only do justice to the narration but enliven it as well. The use of light and dark enhances the mood, and the artist gives her human and animal characters expressive faces. An afterword offers a quick overview of Sewell's life. VERDICT A good introduction to a classic, perfect for classroom reading and storytimes with older children. Pair it with Peter Parnall's Stuffer and Mônica Carnesi's Little Dog Lost for animal tales with happy endings. --Catherine Callegari, formerly at Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH

Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"This retelling joins several other picture book versions. It begins with a short foreword explaining the intent and impact of Sewell's work. Brown touches on major points from the original and maintains the horse's perspective. The story starts with Black Beauty following his mother's advice and trusting his instincts to save his stablemate, Ginger, from a fire and his master from a flooded bridge. In broad strokes, Brown covers the protagonist's life as a carriage horse, cab horse, and workhorse and concludes with the animal's reunion with his favorite groom. In keeping with the original, Black Beauty's cruel treatment is evident in the text and illustrations, but Brown omits gritty details, and the harsher aspects are balanced by happier times. The traditional, watercolor-style illustrations not only do justice to the narration but enliven it as well. The use of light and dark enhances the mood, and the artist gives her human and animal characters expressive faces. An afterword offers a quick overview of Sewell's life. VERDICT: A good introduction to a classic, perfect for classroom reading and storytimes with older children. Pair it with Peter Parnall's Stuffer and Mônica Carnesi's Little Lost Dog for animal tales with happy endings."—School Library Journal

—Journal
Anna Sewell
Carol Elizabeth Fenner (1929-2002) was an American children's book writer. Fenner's book Gorilla Gorilla won a Christopher Award and The Skates of Uncle Richard a Coretta Scott King Honor. In addition, she won a Newbery Honor in 1996 for Yolonda's Genius.

Anna Sewell, an English Quaker, (1820-1878), wrote only one novel in her lifetime, Black Beauty.
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9781604590081
Lexile Measure
760
Guided Reading Level
-
Publisher
Andersen Press
Publication date
August 20, 2007
Series
-
BISAC categories
JUV002130 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Horses
Library of Congress categories
Horses

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