Horse Power: How Horses Changed the World

Abrams. Apr. 2021. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781419749452.
Gr 2-6–Before technologies such as telephones and automobiles, the world moved at the speed of the horse. Thermes’s illustrated primer successfully examines the contributions of this animal. Captivating maps, diagrams, and illustrations offer plenty of information to engross young readers. Immersive illustrations include “What Makes the Horse So Special?” which labels the body of the horse; “Horses Powered the World!” depicting the different roles of horses; and a map showing horses through time with modern-day borders. Detailing the history and proliferation of horses, the text offers both an informative and literary perspective on how horses have shaped and changed the daily lives of humans. The main text in a readable font is well separated from the captions and labels; stylized text accompanies illustrations. Extensive back matter includes selected sources, an author’s note, and a comprehensive time line. The text includes the various roles that horses have played throughout history and purposes that they have served, including communication, entertainment, and transportation, while migrating across the globe to all continents except for Antarctica (but horses have been there, too; they just cannot live there in perpetuity because of the lack of grass).
VERDICT This book is an excellent addition to nonfiction collections; Thermes invites readers to “wonder at this magnificent animal. The world would be a different place if horses had never existed! And from atop a horse’s back, it will always be a more magical one.”

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