Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Book Review: Silver Dawn

Title: Silver Dawn
       
Author: Margaret Sweet Johnson

Antiquarian web site with a page about this author: http://dogco.com/margaret-and-helen-johnson-collaboration/
       
Date: 1958
       
Publisher: Morrow
       
ISBN: none (Amazon page here)
       
Length: 80 pages
       
Illustrations: drawings by the author
       
Quote: “Silver Dawn came from a long line of Irish hunters and jumpers.”
       
Silver Dawn, a dapple-gray mare, bonds with Julia, the rancher’s daughter who trains her to jump. The rancher sells the mare, anyway, to a circus. After a leopard attacks Silver Dawn, she is sold again, to a farmer who rents her out as a saddle horse. After an accident with an ignorant rider, Silver Dawn becomes too nervous to be ridden by anyone but Julia. Wandering about in the woods, they come to a forest fire, and Silver Dawn saves Julia’s life.
       
There’s not much suspense in this simply told story—you know it’s going to end with the girl and her horse together forever. Neither is there enough detail to offer any novelty to those who’ve already read Black Beauty. Nor is there a great deal of information about horses; there hardly needs to be, since this book is aimed at an audience who are unlikely to be allowed to do more than pat a horse. 

Nevertheless, for a child whose interest in horses extends to drawing horse portraits, this book has some nice, lifelike images. My brother, whose school drawings were always of horses or dogs, loved this book and used it as a model from which to learn. Other horse-loving children may like the pictures, too, long after they’ve pronounced the story “babyish.” Most adults could take drawing lessons from Margaret Sweet Johnson.

Online, we'll sell this book for our standard bottom price of $5 for the book + $5 for shipping.