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We Need a Horse

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  70 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
A speckled horse wonders why he was made a horse. Can the sassy sheep, who claims to be a good tennis player, help him find understanding? And wait a minute: How can that sheep even play tennis if she doesn't have hands? Perhaps the bright light holds answers. Or the talking apple. Or the singing grass.

We Need a Horse, the first children's book from author Sheila Heti and
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published July 12th 2011 by McSweeney's McMullens (first published June 7th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Amar Pai
Jun 07, 2012 Amar Pai rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books
I've always appreciated the attention to detail and the thought/effort that McSweeneys puts into all its publications. Yes their actual literary quality varies wildly, and the style of writing McSweeneys champions sometimes verges on overly precious or twee. But more often then not I find their published works to be genuinely inspired, perfectly pitched, funny and/or unique. And Dave Eggers is a mensch. For years now he's been putting out lavish, high production value-publications with no ads, a ...more
Aug 02, 2011 Tara rated it really liked it
This is one of those great allegory picturebooks that I think that adults are able to process more easily than kids. The illustrations are cuter than all get out and I love their style and simplicity. We had an interesting discussion amongst ourselves about what we thought happened to the horse at the end.

Wouldn't use for storytime, but overall I can see recommending it to a child that feels "out of place"
Aug 30, 2011 Tuck rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
again, McSweeney's McMullens are a good idea with super wonderful think pages and "paint", cool, tough looking binding, and bonus reversible poster/dust jacket. This story is some sort of zen/indian philosophical text about being aware of all around you,, and being satisfied with yourself as a part of the world that gives you gifts of living at the same time that is demands empathy and compassion from you. i gave it 4 stars because the story did tug harder while reading and the colors, plants an ...more
Mar 05, 2011 Angela rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
An interesting book--not suprising considering it is in the first batch of releases from McSweeny's children's imprint: McSweeney's McMullens. There's something curious and thoughtful about the story and the illustrations are unique. Recommended for fans of Daydreams of a Solitary Hamster and others who enjoy a gentle, layered story.
Note: Review based on PDF preview copy.
Dec 19, 2016 Gina rated it really liked it
This strange children's picture book made an impression upon me. Perhaps most children would not be invested in the musings of the beings in this story. But, the sentiment is beautiful: wondering about why we are here and accepting ourselves in the grand scheme of things. I also enjoyed the "folk art" illustrations.
Evidently, I'm too dull to really appreciate this story. I did, however, enjoy the pictures!
Mar 02, 2013 Tom rated it did not like it
My first reaction to this book was to be morally disturbed. The book is about creatures (horse, sheep) who are created by "the light," a talking character who tells them their purpose (the world needed you, says the light). The horse accepts this blindly, the sheep (at first) does not. The horse grows surer of its purpose as it continues in the world, believing that every interaction it has is destined by "the light" and therefore good. The sheep seems to be satisfied that it exists for the hors ...more
Sep 29, 2016 Jenneffer rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book on belonging, for young ones and grownups alike
Dec 31, 2011 Hans rated it really liked it
A little conflicted with this one. I didn't connect with it as much as the others from the first McSweeney's McMullens books, but it is still a gorgeous book with a deep story (especially for such a short book). The design is great and--like the other McMullens prints--the dust jacket turns into an oversize double-sided poster. I also liked the sheep with a tennis racket.

But, if I weren't a McSweeney's completist and had to choose which book I wanted to buy, it would have been Symphony City or K
Feb 04, 2012 Bobby rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Not really for kids...much too metaphysical for them I think. The rather brief story is more like a zen koan and best appreciated by those into existentialist inquiries. Love the illustrations, even though they are not realistic (e.g., the horse's head/mouth looks more like a fox to me).
Sasha Boersma
Dec 28, 2015 Sasha Boersma rated it really liked it
Beautiful illustrations, but awkward ending... Could lead to a great discussion with kids about the cycle of life, or it could confuse kids. I like to believe that children can handle more than we give them credit for, so this warning is more for the parents than the kids ;)
Sep 12, 2011 Natalie rated it really liked it
Notwithstanding the rad paintings, I think my mind just exploded. Travel with horse as he goes from questioning the meaning of his existence into ecstacy and accepts the perfection in every moment.
Sally rated it really liked it
Feb 13, 2013
Shannon Tien
Shannon Tien rated it it was amazing
Mar 08, 2013
Kirsten Bauer
Kirsten Bauer rated it it was amazing
May 07, 2014
Dawn rated it really liked it
Oct 19, 2014
Elisabeth Ellington
Elisabeth Ellington rated it it was amazing
Jun 18, 2014
Rachael rated it it was ok
Aug 27, 2015
Kimberly rated it it was amazing
Jan 03, 2017
Megan C
Megan C rated it really liked it
Dec 17, 2015
Apr 26, 2016 Mckinley rated it did not like it
Shelves: picture, animal
I was confused reading this!
Cymande rated it it was amazing
Jan 25, 2014
Sidney Jane
Sidney Jane rated it it was ok
Nov 01, 2016
Amanda rated it it was amazing
Dec 04, 2011
Ally Mackey
Ally Mackey rated it really liked it
Nov 04, 2014
Kerry rated it it was amazing
May 24, 2016
Muumuu House
Muumuu House rated it it was amazing
Jul 16, 2012
Jaxiejax rated it liked it
Mar 11, 2013
Jessie Dae
Jessie Dae rated it liked it
Sep 28, 2016
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Sheila Heti is the author of five books; three books of fiction, a children's book, and a work of non-fiction with Misha Glouberman. She is Interviews Editor at The Believer and is known for her long interviews. She lives in Toronto.
More about Sheila Heti...

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