11 October 2023

Review: If I Was a Horse by Sophie Blackall

If I Was a Horse by Sophie Blackall book cover

* Copy thanks to Hachette Australia *

Sophie Blackall is back from her award winning picture book Farmhouse, with her new release If I Was a Horse.

You might remember Farmhouse was based on the true story of a derelict and neglected house the author discovered after purchasing a farm. Blackall was able to utilise a variety of different items from inside the original tumbledown house in her artwork, including: newspaper clippings, photographs, fabric and scraps of wallpaper. She used all of these different materials in the creation of a fictional family of 12 based on the people she learned used to live there.

If I Was a Horse by Sophie Blackall doesn't draw on history to tell the story, although the title is drawn from a comment her son made 10 years ago on a trip to Iceland:
"If I was a horse I would gallop all day."
The comment entered family lore and went on to inform the story, where the reader is asked to use their imagination to consider what it might be like to be a horse for a day.

The illustration style is warm and inviting with lots of details to enjoy as your eye takes in the scene on every page; the scratched up skateboard, brother's laptop and pink tiled bathroom immediately come to mind. The mixed media wasn't as easily identifiable although the cover design with glitter and spot UV will definitely appeal to readers.

If I Was a Horse by Sophie Blackall is a great children's book for young readers and I couldn't help but wonder if the horse's tail is in the shape of a letter 'S' for Sophie? I like to think so.

My Rating:

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