story for early readers introduces two Clydesdale horses,
Max and Annabel, who stroll through Central Park in New York
City with police officers riding on their backs, protecting
visitors from harm. To help young readers envision their route,
a two-page illustration of Central Park serves as an introduction
to the book (and also appears again at the end).
From there, the actual story begins. Five-year-old Annabel
is introduced to her new home and new work companions on a
cold January day. After 24 hours of resting and getting familiar
with her new home, she’s ready for her first day on
the job patrolling Central Park. Officer Francis, Officer
Michael, and fellow Clydesdale, Max, are very kind to her
and show her around the area. Their leisurely pace gets interrupted
when a jogger warns them that The Tennis Center is on fire.
Annabel then finds herself in the middle of a rescue operation.
After that, the rest of the day is calm, and they resume their
casual stroll through the park until the patrol is over and
the day is done.
The text is illustrated by beautiful watercolor paintings
and sketches. The exciting, professional artwork elevates
the story and helps readers picture the horses and their unusual
day. A page titled “Did You Know” near the back
of the book offers four facts about Clydesdale horses.
The only weakness in this lovely children’s book is
the need for editorial assistance. Many errors appear in this
brief book that may confuse young readers or teach them incorrectly.
Examples of the errors include: “Up stair” instead
of upstairs, “Isle” instead of aisle, “him-self”
instead of himself, “to” instead of too, “out
side” instead of outside, “call down” instead
of calm down, and missing punctuation. With one round of professional
editing, this book would be a delightful addition to a child’s
Leslie C. Halpern is the author of Passionate About
Their Work: 151 Celebrities, Artists, and Experts on Creativity,
Rub, Scrub, Clean the Tub: Funny Children's Poems About
Self-Image, and Shakes, Cakes, Frosted Flakes: Funny
Children's Poems About Table Manners.