Title: Rosie and Scamper (Sonrise Stables, Book #1)
Author: Vicki Watson
Illustrator: Becky Raber
Year published: 2012
Publisher: Morris Publishing
Number of pages: 141
Recommended age: 7+
Reviewed by: Renee and Danielle (Mother and Daughter)
Summary (from Amazon): While learning to ride at Sonrise Stable, eight-year-old Rosie dreams of the horse shows she will win with her pony, Jet. Two years later, nothing is exactly the way Rosie planned it-she’s riding a new pony, Scamper, and learning that life isn’t always easy. But it’s as Rosie reaches out to the new girl next door that she truly begins to see that God works all things together for good in our lives. Rosie and Scamper is the first book in the Sonrise Stable series, heartwarming stories of an extended homeschooling family as they live, learn, and love together. Mixing adventure, life lessons, and realistic horse experiences, the series is a must for readers who enjoy family values, Christian faith, and, of course, horses!
1. What is the story about? This story is about a girl named Rosie who has a horse named Scamper. While she visits her Grandmother she meets her new neighbor, a foster child named Carrie who moved in next door. They become friends and they both love horses.
2. What do you think of the cover and/or the pictures in the book? I liked the photo on the cover and in the book. I wish there was more.
3. Who is/are the main character(s)? Can you relate to them? The main character is Rosie, who is 8 at the start of the book and by the end of the book she’s a few years older. I don’t relate to her because she doesn’t look like me and she doesn’t act like me.
4. Have you experienced anything in your life like what happens in this book? No, I’ve barely ridden horses – only a couple of times, even though I love them. I do like spending time with my cousins though.
5. What is your favorite part of the story? I liked the end of the story when Rosie’s family adopts Carrie because it was a happy ending.
6. What is your least favorite part of the story? My least favorite part of the story is when Jet dies at the beginning because it made me sad.
7. How did the story make you feel? Reading this story made me want a horse even more than I already did before I read the book. The one part where Jet dies is really sad, and I was annoyed when I was reading the part about Billy the bully, but the rest of the book made me feel good and happy because they are a really nice family.
8. Who do you think would like this book? I liked reading this book and I think that girls 8 years and older would like reading it.
Daughter Rating: ★★★★☆
What I liked and disliked about it: Rosie and Scamper is the first book in the Christian fiction middle grade book series, Sonrise Stable series by Vicki Watson. Rosie and Scamper tells the heartwarming story of a young girl, Rosie who comes from a long line of horse lovers, trainers, and riders. Watson weaves in the themes of faith, family, and friendship all within the backdrop of a deep love of all horse-related things and experiences to create a story filled with life lessons.
This is our first foray into Christian fiction and I was a bit skeptical at first about how the Christian elements would come across but I was pleasantly surprised. Interestingly, my daughter read the book first and then passed it to me. When we chatted about the book, before I read it myself, she never mentioned to me that God or the bible was discussed nor does she mention it in her review. After reading it I see that it is because Watson weaves in those concepts with ease and in such a natural way. Mentions of God, the bible, or faith do not come across in a heavy handed way at all. It was really well done.
What I really enjoyed about this book is that it touches on real-life issues that tweens must deal with in their lives including friendships, bullying, and family issues. The Grandmother in the story sometimes quotes from the bible when doling out advice to Rosie, but it doesn’t come across as “preachy” at all – the quotes provide a jumping off point for the wisdom and advice the Grandmother shares with her granddaughter.
What I enjoyed most about this book though is that it is a good clean story with no bad language and with no major tension. The story is completely realistic and it features the most loving and likable characters. The extended family who is depicted, and particularly the relationships amongst the cousins, reminded me of some very good times spent with my own cousins. This book features a family-friendly, feel good story that was a pleasure to read.
The only issue I would raise in passing is that the story is very much about horses. Nearly everything that occurs in the book involves horses. I grew up loving horses and read every “horse book” I could get my hands on including my favorites The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley and Black Beauty by Anna Sewell (a book I think everyone should read). But not everyone loves stories about horses and the culture surrounding horses. My daughter went through a brief period where she refused to read any “horse books”, as she put it.
My bottom line: For its genre, Christian fiction, I think Rosie and Scamper was a very wholesome and enjoyable read. I would recommend this book to boys and girls aged 7 years and older.
Mom Rating: ★★★★½
*Rosie and Scamper was provided to us free-of-charge by the author in exchange for our honest opinion.*
About the Author
My love of horses began when a teenage neighbor offered me my first ride, on the back of her horse. From my 8-year-old perspective, it seemed like the biggest horse in the world. From that moment on, I was hooked. Horses were to become a very important part of my life, although I never could have imagined, at the time, how much God would teach me about Himself and my relationship to Him through these wonderful animals.
For more about Vicki Watson and the Sonrise Stable book series, please visit http://www.sonrisestable.com/
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