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We Need a Horse
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We Need a Horse

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  51 ratings  ·  11 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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Amar Pai
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
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"
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
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.
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
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
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).
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.
Jul 03, 2012 Dav rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: kids
The story is too surreal for my 5yo, but I dig it. Illustrations are also lovely.
Sep 04, 2011 Greta added it
Shelves: picturebooks
A bit too metaphysical for a childrens' book.
Patricia L.
Made me cry when she read the book to us.
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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...
How Should a Person Be? Women in Clothes The Middle Stories Ticknor Always Apprentices: The Believer Book of Even More Writers Talking to Writers

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