Archie and Bobby, Our Newest Addition
by Donna Christie
Trafford Publishing

"The caretaker could not control him. He yelled out to John, and John came running toward them. Archie pranced once again, and John jumped out of the way just in time."

People have loved and worked alongside domesticated animals since before recorded history, and yet we still have a long way to go before fully understanding them. Sometimes the most docile and obedient of creatures will one day act out in a way that leaves its owner totally perplexed. This is the situation facing John when his prize racehorse, Archie, seems to suddenly have a personality shift during an important practice session before his first big race.

The author begins her story with Adam, John's young son, waking up early in the morning and hurrying to the barn to see Archie, the shiny, black horse his father has bought. As Adam stares wonderingly at the farm's newest addition, he notices a small shape standing in the horse's shadow. He is soon introduced to Bobby, a small billy goat that Adam had been given for buying the stallion. As Archie trains to become a racing champion Bobby is never far from his side, until one fateful day when Archie is taken away to train by himself. John suddenly finds himself saddled with a very unpredictable horse.

The problem with Archie is not unique, and those who have spent significant time with racehorses will recognize immediately the dynamics of the situation. But for young children, especially, this is a charming tale of one of the mysteries of animal behavior. Ramir Quintana's simple yet highly expressive illustrations are the perfect accompaniment to Christie's straight-forward text. The result is a children's book destined to be greatly enjoyed by almost any animal-loving tyke.

Return to USR Home