by Syd Hoff
Reading Level 2.3
|Characters:||Harry, his horse, and his mom and dad|
|Plot:||Harry has a horse in his room, but no one else can see it. His parents want Harry to see a real horse so he understands that he could not possibly have a horse in his room.|
|Solution:||Harry goes to the country and does see real horses. He then tells his horse that he can leave if he wants to run free, but his horse chooses to stay with Harry in his room. Harry now understands the difference between real and make-believe horses, but he still wants to keep his make-believe horse in his room.|
|Summary:||Harry has a horse in his room that no one else can see. He rides and jumps the horse over objects without knocking over a thing. His parents hear him riding his horse, but they never see the animal. When Harry tells his classmates about his horse, they all laugh. Finally, his parents take Harry to the country to see real horses run, kick, and nibble so he will stop saying he has a horse in his room. When Harry returns from the country, he tells his horse that it can go and be free to run, kick, and nibble, but his horse does not want to go away. Now Harry knows his horse will always be there to watch over him.|
|Curriculum Connections:||Fiction versus nonfiction, pet unit, imaginary friends|
Ask the children how many have ever had an imaginary friend. (They may not remember, but their parents may have told them about it.) Let them tell about their imaginary friends. Ask why they think little children have imaginary friends.
Show the children the picture of the horse on the cover. Why do they think Harry's picture is in color and the horse is only a black outline drawing?
Do they think this is a happy story or a sad story? How can they tell?
Have students do the following exercise: Close your eyes and try to remember a time when you have seen horses. Where were they? What were they doing?
Ask children how they would find true (nonfiction) books about horses in the library. Review the use of keyword searches and call numbers to find the location of a subject.