Reviews for Black Beauty


Horn Book Guide Reviews 2002 Spring
The story of Black Beauty is presented here unabridged, supplemented by color drawings and heavily captioned archival reproductions. The drawings are bland, and the captions are occasionally irrelevant or intrusive, but the historical art helpfully shows the bearing rein and other tack and equipages referred to in the text. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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VOYA Reviews 2002 February
Sewell's classic tale of the life of a horse appears here in a new, annotated edition that clarifies central issues and relates them to today's nearly horseless society. As Black Beauty enters each new phase of his working life, the reader learns the different classes of work for horses, such as hunter, private carriage horse, cab horse, and coal hauler, and the maltreatments that accompany each one. The controversial bearing rein, a cruel instrument used merely for the sake of fashion, is diagrammed fully and explained in the sidebars at the point where Sewell introduces it into the story. Carriage-driving skills, the dangers of foxhunts, and proper diet for horses are examples of other issues important to Black Beauty that would not be understood by today's reader without the information contained in this new edition. The annotations focus heavily on early progressive advocates for animal rights, creating a historical context for modern awareness of this topic. Cultural, geographic, and historical references such as cockneys, the location of the various settings in the book, and the Crimean War are also clarified in the sidebars. The editors of this revival of Black Beauty have chosen a fine text to work with. Although the central story remains readable, so much of the information contained in it would be lost without their help. Teachers might wish to use this entry in The Whole Story series in their classrooms, and both school and public libraries will want to have it for their young horse lovers.-Jenny Ingram. The historical sidebars in Black Beauty mostly deal with what English life in the nineteenth century was like, but a few specifically deal with horses. They can be distracting if you're trying to follow the story. Unless you're really interested in details of that time period, don't think that this book is any better than another version, although the illustrations might make it easier for younger readers to enjoy.-Kristen Moreland, Teen Reviewer. $17.99 Trade pb. ISBN 0-670-89497-4. Illus. 4Q 3P M Copyright 2002 Voya Reviews

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