Oh, Harry! by Maxine Kumin, illustrated by Barry Moser
Harry the horse did not have the lean lines of the other horses at the Adams & Son farm. He wasn’t jittery or temperamental like the others either. Instead, he was gentle, kind and calm. When any other horse got out of line, Harry was brought in to calm the situation down. He didn’t have a stall like the others either, instead he was allowed to move from spot to spot in the barn as he liked. But then Algernon Adams, aged 6, arrived at the farm. He ran around, yelled and scared the horses. Until one evening, when he got shut in the grain bin. All the people had left, only the horses were in the barn, including Harry. And now Harry had a decision to make about the naughty young Algernon.
Kumin’s verse is playful and jaunty. This is not poetry of a serious sort, but rather the type that skips along telling a story. The rhymes read aloud well, moving the entire story along at a brisk pace.
Moser’s art offers a lot of range here. His paintings show quiet moments of beautiful horses together. They also show silly moments with Harry and Algernon. They have deep colors placed again white space that really make the images pop.
A winning combination of engaging verse and art, this picture book will be appreciated by horse lovers of any age. Appropriate for ages 4-7.
Reviewed from library copy.