Black Beauty

Anna Sewell

Black Beauty cover



Page Count





A handsome horse with a glossy black coat and a pretty white star on his forehead, Black Beauty seems to lead a charmed life. Although his mother warns him that there are 'bad, cruel men' in the world, he begins his life in a happy home, with a friendly groom to look after him and plenty to eat. However, when a change of circumstances means that he is sold, he soon discovers the truth of his mother's words. Anna Sewell's moving story is one of the best-loved animal adventures ever written. Children's Literature - Childrens Literature This summary of the Black Beauty story is profusely illustrated with full-color drawings of horses, clothing, and artifacts of Victorian England. An introduction explains the context of the story and its impact on the care and treatment of horses. Ten short chapters follow, carefully capturing the essence of the original book. Sidebars feature photographs and illustrations with descriptions of words and terms that may not be familiar to young readers. A glossary in the back contributes to further understanding. Some biographical information about Sewell is included. This is a good introduction to both the study of horses and the enjoyment of horse stories. 2000, DK, Ages 7 to 10, $12.95 and $3.95. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer VOYA The historical sidebars in Black Beauty mostly deal with what English life in the nineteenth century was like, but a few specifically deal with horses. They can be distracting if you're trying to follow the story. Unless you're really interested in details of that time period, don't think that this book is any better than another version, although the illustrations might make it easier for younger readers to enjoy, $17.99 Trade pb. Illus. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2000, Viking/Penguin Putnam, 208p, $25.99. Ages 11 to 14. Reviewer: Kristen Moreland, Teen Reviewer SOURCE: VOYA, February 2002 (Vol. 24, No.6) School PreS-Gr 3-In this abridgement of Anna Sewell's 19th century English classic, British actress Juliet Stevenson's outstanding narration is highlighted by her rendition of the regional dialects of various human characters and her sympathetic portrayal of Beauty's voice. Music as well as realistic sound effects of foxhunts, railway trains, Victorian city streets and the terror of a stable fire enhance the audio performance and enrich its historical perspective. The accompanying book blends both the story and factual information about Beauty's life and times. Sidebars inform readers about breeds of horses and their roles in pre-automobile society, their stables and tack, various types of carriages, and life in country houses and in London. Photographs and Victor Ambrus' energetic illustrations describe a world in which horses were used for work rather than simply for pleasure. Children will admire Beauty's noble nature as he is sold from master to master, some of them gentle and some of them harsh, and they will empathize with Ginger's hardships and tragic end. This new version is an excellent addition to public or school library collections.-Maura Martin Smith, Somerset Elementary School, Shawnee Mission, KS Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information. AudioFile - Robin F. Whitten From country squire to cab horse and back to gentle ladies, Beauty's life is a happy tale to be enjoyed by families and young children. The abridgment cuts much of what some of us remember of the horses' cruel treatment. Martin Jarvis is a master, who draws the listener into the story from his first breath. He effortlessly brings to life the orchard at Bertwick or the London cab rank. The character voices are distinctive while easily understood. Remember, the story is narrated from Beauty's point of view. Without sounding contrived or trite the horse's account is sympathetically presented. Sharing Beauty's delight or diligence, listeners will enjoy this compassionate presentation. R.F.W. ┬ČAudioFile, Portland, Maine AudioFile - Martie Ramm From a life of