Running With the Horses, by Alison Lester

Nina closed her eyes and imagined herself and Zelda in the Great Riding Hall. She saw the cheering audience, the glittering chandeliers and the dazzling spotlights. She heard the swelling music of the orchestra carrying them along. Nina was riding like her mother, as light as a summer butterfly. She could hear the soaring violins, the cellos, the drums…

Before the war, Nina lived with her father above the stables of the Royal Academy of Dancing Horses. Now, however, war has come and Nina and her father have to flee with the remaining horses, and Zelda, an aging cab horse. The journey across the mountains is filled with danger, but Nina and Zelda draw strength from each other.

Running with the Horses is a beautiful picture book story based on the true story of Vienna’s Spanish Riding School and the Lipizzaner stallions. Told in gentle prose with each page of text complemented by a black and white illustration and full page coloured illustration on the opposite page, this is both a visual and literary delight, perfect for reading aloud to primary aged children. Young horse lovers will delight in Lester’s art, and all children will be drawn into the excitement of the escape, at the same time learning some of the realities of war.

This is a story of hope which deserves to be shared.

Running with the Horses

Running with the Horses, by Alison Lester
Penguin/Viking, 2009

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