Wednesday, March 26, 2008

White Stallion of Lipizza

by Marguerite Henry

Listening Age: 5+

There is a death in the immediate family that is handled very quickly and without dreaded detail, though it is for you, the parent, to decide if that is a thematic element that your child can handle.

This was my second time reading this book aloud to my girls, though I think only Fifi remembers it from the first time when she was about 2nd grade. It's a book from the Sonlight Curriculum list, where never a dry read is found!

I. love. this. book!

Behind the Bible, Pilgrim's Progress, and Hind's Feet in High Places, there isn't another book that strikes me so accidentally, allegorically Christian as this one.

The story is about a poor baker's boy who has a passionate dream--a lofty goal--to ride the show horses that are sometimes known as the dancing stallions: the Lipizzaners. Through desire, sheer determination, and remarkable initiative, the boy, Hans Haupt, finds his opportunity.

The story subtly teaches good character qualities through Hans' hardships, loss, sacrifice, and humiliations. Time and time again, he proves himself remarkably mature, responsible and strong.

There are some wonderful opportunities to see God's Word proven true in the narrative of this almost completely irreligious story, but my favorite application is at the end when the mystery of a true master rider is revealed, and the Scripture comes to mind in which John the Baptist answered his followers who had come to him concerned about Jesus' rising popularity--that Jesus must increase, but he (John) must decrease.

I give this book an "A+."


Mama Mia said...

We just finished reading this book to my 7 year old a few weeks ago! We loved it. What a great book about character & determination!

Terry said...

My local library has this book! And they're going to deliver it to my front door. For free!! We'll be starting this one very very soon.

I'm sure it will be great because great writers (such as yourself) are usually great writers because they spend lots of time reading great books. Thanks for the recommendation!

Hans Lundahl said...

Did you know Lipizzaners get to be twice as old as other horses?

Twenty is a normal life time for a horse, forty for a lippizzaner.

Staying in Touch said...

I enjoy reading your blog - it truly edifying and definitely one of my favorites. Thank you so much for doing book reviews - it is so helpful and I love your choices. We also just recently finished this book as a read aloud in our home school and we all agree it is excellent! (We were blessed to have seen the Lipizzaners perform when they came to our town a couple of months ago.)

Thank you again for the reviews and please keep them coming - they truly are appreciated!

May God bless you as you raise your beautiful family.

mary said...

I love Margurite Henry and have never read this. I will put it on our chapter book list.

Orangehouse said...

I recently purchased a new children's book called "One Hen" after hearing a review on NPR. It's about a small boy in Ghana that saves some money and borrows a little more to buy a hen. The hen lays eggs, which he sells and helps to feed his family. He uses the money he makes selling eggs to pay off his loan, and eventually buy more and more hens. Eventually, as a man, he has the largest chicken farm in west Africa.

The book is about "microloans" which are being used with much success to combat poverty in the developing world. It is beautifully illustrated.

I bought it to help teach microenterprise to Honduran villagers with whom I work in rural electrification businesses. I am going to have it translated into Spanish for this purpose.

I thought you might be interested in reviewing it.

P.S. My first reaction to the microloan concept was negative, since American culture is awash in consumer debt. We don't need to export THAT to the developing world. But the debt advocated by this book is secured debt, and debt with a view towards hard work, delayed gratification, and helping one's loved ones.

Linds said...

What a great resource you have here with all these book reviews!