I have done my time as a parent reading picture books (and also when running various
creches and nannying). The picture book was usually my tool of choice when calming
the fractious child, so I soon learned that it was a major help if I liked it too.
I have never, not ever, not once, seen the literary merit of Thomas the Tank Engine
as he now is, and I find the cutesome moralising of some modern titles - The Rainbow
Fish by Marcus Pfister, for example - nauseating. Writing for very young children
is not easy: it’s not just a case of using a few and simple words. You have to
use them well.
I haven’t as yet found many horse-orientated picture books, but even if I had, Jessie
Haas’ titles would still be there at the top. Don’t be put off by the fact her books
to some extent reflect American equitation: she explains all the terms she uses and
after all, why shouldn’t your child be introduced to the equine world beyond these