Intended for young readers, Horse Crazy is the story of Bonnie and Sam, two young girls living in the bush of Australia. Though they don’t have their own steeds, they do everything they can to ride their fellow townspeople’s horses. One night, a wild horse jumps the fence and switches places with Sam’s father’s horse that would much prefer to live in the wilderness. Sam’s father is the sheriff, and this replacement horse must adapt quickly to the police horse lifestyle, especially when a child’s life is at stake.
The Silver Horse Switch is slow to start—very slow. In fact, I have great difficulty believing a child would want to stick with this story that spends the first twenty pages simply describing each horse in the community. It isn’t until midway through the book that anything resembling an actual story commences. Once the story is fully rolling, however, the book becomes quite engaging.
The artwork by Roland Harvey is relatively simple but not without charm. By and large, Harvey illustrates the scenes accurately and I particularly enjoyed his backgrounds.
I also found the glossary of Australian terminology a clever touch and helpful to the story’s clarity.
So while The Silver Horse Switch is overall a pleasant experience, it takes far too long for the actual story to emerge.