Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse. Or does he?
Thanks to Dial Books for the review copy!

Title: Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse
Author: Marcy Campbell
Illustrator:
Corinna Luyken
Rating: 9
Source: Dial Books for review

Description from Goodreads:

Adrian Simcox tells anyone who will listen that he has a horse–the best and most beautiful horse anywhere.

But Chloe does NOT believe him. Adrian Simcox lives in a tiny house. Where would he keep a horse? He has holes in his shoes. How would he pay for a horse?

The more Adrian talks about his horse, the angrier Chloe gets. But when she calls him out at school and even complains about him to her mom, Chloe doesn’t get the vindication she craves. She gets something far more important.

What I Thought:

A heartwarming story about the importance of empathy.

The gorgeous warm, earthy colours make this a perfect book for fall. And the way that Luyken uses those colours to show the two characters’ different perspectives is brilliant.

After Chloe calls Adrian out for lying about having a horse, her mother takes her on a walk that just happens to go by Adrian’s house. Chloe wants to tell Adrian he’s lying again, but then when he starts talking about his wonderful horse she has a change of heart and sees Adrian in a new light. He’s not a liar – he’s a dreamer.

This book was a good reminder for me – I have a pretty strong need to always be right. And sometimes it’s more important to be kind.

My oldest daughter Evelyn takes after me in that need, and so this book was a great starting point for a conversation regarding her little sister, Lucy. Sometimes when Lucy pretends things (and Evelyn isn’t in on it) it drives Evelyn nuts because she knows that Lucy is making things up. But Evelyn thinks she’s lying. We were able to use the book to talk about how it makes Lucy feel when Evelyn tells her she’s lying (hint: Lucy doesn’t love it). It was perfect.

I can see this book being a terrific story for using in the classroom!

What Evelyn Thought:

I loved it. Though I didn’t like the way that Chloe told the other kids that Adrian was lying. Because I don’t like mean stuff in books. Although I do like scary stuff. But Chloe learned that he was just imagining the horse, not really lying. It’s good to imagine things. Adrian had a good imagination source. And it turns out he was just imagining the horse, because his backyard looked like a horse. I liked that. I also thought the pictures were beautiful.