Synopsis from HarperCollins:
A richly illustrated gift picture book edition of Michael Morpurgo’s classic wartime story War Horse, which has been captivating audiences young and old for 40 years.
War Horse celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2022!
This powerful book for younger readers tells the enduring story of a friendship between a boy and his horse amid the turmoil of the First World War. For 40 years, War Horse has been helping children understand conflict. As we move beyond centenary commemorations and continue to strive for peace across the world, it remains an important book for young readers learning about the past.
About: War Horse is a military children’s fiction written by Michael Morpurgo and illustrated by Tom Clohosy Cole. It was published on 6/7/2022 by HarperCollins 360, hardcover, 43 pages. The genres are children’s fiction, historical, military, and animals. This book is intended for readers ages 5 to 8. According to the publisher’s website, “Harper 360 is our global publishing initiative, publishing books in English from HarperCollins UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and India offices and books in Spanish from HarperCollins Iberica and Mexico offices. We publish in all genres of adult, children’s and YA books, and in all formats—print, e-book, and digital audio.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading War Horse for my kids as a story time on 6/7/2022 and we finished it in one sitting. What a moving and beautiful story! I couldn’t help but shed tears for the horse and the boy’s love for his horse. I also loved how another soldier promised to take care of the horses like his children. Beautiful illustrations. I loved the details in the illustrations like the forest below with the squirrel and birds in the trees. War is terrifying for both sides and it’s definitely sad for animals being used. I’m unaware of this story so this picture book is my first read from the author. It definitely won’t be my last read though. The characters both people and horses were well liked. I enjoyed the story of Joey and his adventures. He experienced so much and I’m glad he found himself a friend to share the war hardships with.
This book followed Albert the boy and Joey the horse. They were like brothers because they grew up together on the family farm. When the bell rang to inform everyone about war, that the Germans have marched into Belgium and the army needed all of the horses they could find. The army needed horses for cavalry, pull carts and guns, wagons and the injured. It was rough and soon Albert’s dad needed money to feed his family so he sold Joey to the army. As soon as Albert found out what his dad did, he enlisted himself to the army to try to find his horse Joey. Albert went to battle in far-off France. Huddled in the trenches, Albert was determined to find his horse Joey. At war, Joey found a friend in another horse named Topthorn. They endured the hardships of war together. When the captain riding Joey was down, Joey and his friend Topthorn was captured by the enemy. The German army used them to pull the ambulance carts filled with injured soldiers. Later their job changed to hauling guns. Topthorn soon became unwell. Soon they met Friedrich who treated them with the utmost kindness. In the woods, another unexpected event happened and Joey had to say goodbye to his war friends. Big machines like tanks came and Joey ran. He ran until he was tired and laid down. The reunion between Albert, Joey, and the enemy was heartbreaking.
War Horse was an excellent read and well written. I loved it when humans treated horses with respect and considered that they have feelings like we do. The friendship story was awesome and I loved how the horse jerked his head when he recognized the call of his friend Albert. This story is great because readers have both views of the war: the boy Albert and the horse Joey. Joey even saw how it was like in enemy territory and he got to know that the enemy were as exhausted of the war as anyone. It’s good for readers to see both views and understand how both sides felt during the war. My kids and I loved the happy ending. I highly recommend everyone to read this book!
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author:
Michael Morpurgo is one of Britain’s best loved writers for children with sales of over 35 million copies. He has written over 150 books and won many prizes, including the Smarties Prize and the Whitbread Award. In 2005 he won the Blue Peter Book Award for his novel Private Peaceful, which was also adapted into an acclaimed stage play. His subsequent book, The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, spent an astonishing 20 weeks in the bestseller charts, and his enormous success has continued with his most recent novels, Alone on a Wide Wide Sea and Born to Run. (Photo and info obtained from HarperCollins’ website).
More Information about HarperCollins 360
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to HarperCollins 360 for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.