Roy's friends give him a great big birthday present. "What's this thing?" he asks. It's a saddle. It comes with instructions: "1. Find a horse. 2. Enjoy the ride." Take a look at Roy. He's wearing a big cowboy hat, vest, cowboy boots, bandana, and a map of Texas on his belt buckle. He looks like a cowboy, right? Maybe, but he sure isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. The fellow doesn't even know what a horse looks like. Off he goes to find one.
"Are you a horse?" he asks a squeaky, rusty red wagon. "Nope . . . a horse is a living thing," the wagon replies. He asks the same question of a cactus, a snake, a crab, a chameleon, an owl, a pig, a sloth, a lion, and a zebra, and each one tells him a little more about the animal he seeks. Little by little he puts it all together: a horse is a friendly, clean, fast, grass-eating, legged creature that doesn't change colors or have stripes. "WHY CAN'T I FIND A HORSE," Roy shouts in frustration. And then he sees a brown animal trotting down the road. Checking to see if the creature fits every description, he is overjoyed to see that it does. "Are you a horse?" he asks one last time. "Of course," says the horse. The final pages, with a nutty twist ending, will send all into gales of laughter.
THEMES: COWBOYS. HORSES. HUMOR. IDENTITY. MISCONCEPTIONS.
Arthur A. Levine Books, 2009
Suggested Ages: 2-7