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The Water Horse

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  1,070 ratings  ·  144 reviews
When eight-year-old Kirstie and her family go beachcombing near their home in Scotland, she finds something that looks like a giant fish egg, which is just too interesting to leave on the beach. So she brings it home and sneaks it into the bathtub overnight. The next morning, she is surprised to find that the egg has hatched, but the newborn is unlike anything anyone has s ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published November 13th 2007 by Yearling (first published January 1st 1990)
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Community Reviews

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I read this book in one afternoon cuddled up with my 6 year old. At the end of chapter 3, she was so in love with the water horse she showered me with squeezy hugs and looked at me with adoring eyes. During the chapter when the water horse was being trained, her tender little heart broke. She cried through the chapter. We stopped to talk about the harshness she endured around a hot stove and crossing the street as a toddler yet it's the love that she remembers not the lessons. When the water hou ...more
I read this with my daughter for her third grade book club. I liked the adventure and the love and care of the water horse by the main character children.

It was fun that they call their Grandfather Grumbles because he does. I like how Grumbles is instantly on board with helping the children with the creature and how much he enjoys being involved. I like grumpy people with soft hearts.

I identified with the busy mom who's husband is at sea for months at a time and doesn't want to deal with the w
Ashton Livsey
Genre: Fantasy Junior Book
Summary: When Kirstie decides to take what looks like a giant mermaid’s purse up to her house to keep, she did not expect to hatch a water horse. With the help of her brother Angus, her grandfather Grumble, her mom and her dad, Kirstie works hard to feed and care for her new pet, Crusoe.
Critique: a) Being a fantasy book means bringing in a magical aspect to the story. A fictional, mythical creature, a water horse, is one of the main characters in this book.
The water h
Debbie Reiber
The Water Horse by Dick King-Smith is a children’s fantasy fiction book. The intended age group for this book is Intermediate. The book is about a brother and sister that discover an egg on the beach and hatch it in the bathtub. The grumpy grandfather finds joy in the creature and the family struggles to find a new, nearby home for the creature as it grows enormous within a short couple of years.
I liked how they used many similes to describe the water horse because it broke down the parts of the
The story has no serious conflict, other than the family's struggles to hide a happy sea creature from a nosy world. It mostly just follows the water horse as he grows from the size of a man's hand to the legendary Loch Ness Monster. Sorta Bambi-ish in that sense. But it was a pleasure to read. Reminded me of when the swordtails in my tropical fish tank had babies. Exciting as all get out.
Jan 01, 2008 Heather rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone but especially young (at heart) readers
Shelves: books-i-own
This is one of those rare times when the book and the movie are both worth the time, and different beasties from one another.
Anne Hamilton
March 26, 1930, somewhere in Scotland

Angus and Kirstie find what they think is an enormous 'mermaid's purse' after a storm. But after Kirstie puts it in the bath with a lot of salt, it hatches overnight into a strange long-necked creature with flippers.

Sour old grandfather Grumble is delighted. It's a water horse, the legendary kelpie. Important to keep quiet about it, he says, otherwise all sorts of people will be wanting to see it, poke at it, exhibit it, dissect it.

So they keep it secret. Th
another clear winner from King-Smith. I love reading his books aloud. His dialog is so natural and the stories are full of humor and humanity. He reminds me a bit of E.B. White. This story is about a brother & sister who find a "mermaid's purse" on the beach, take it home, and put it in the bathtub. But what hatches out is anything but a dogfish! Their grandfather, Grumble, is delighted and they spend the next couple of years caring for and protecting their water horse. The best character is ...more
I finished this last night. I started it about 3 days ago and never got around to finishing it because I was kind of disheartened that I didn't have The Stray by DKS, too. But after Jeralyn bought it, I guess it kind of motivated me to finish this book. And finish this book, I did!

03-02-11, 11:52PM--
Aww. The Water Horse is such a nice story. I thought, while going into it, that it would be a boring story (hell, I even slept a while ago while reading it), but after reading it.. Gosh! So nice!

Keri Payton
When Kirstie and her little brother Angus discover a strange egg, they take it home to see if it will hatch. What they discover is something extraordinary - a water horse.

With the help of their family, the two children name the water horse Crusoe and keep him. It isn't long until Crusoe is growing bigger and bigger and at more risk of being noticed.

Can they keep the water horse safe or will he be discovered?

I decided to purchase the audio book of this novel for the simple reason that it was narr
This book wins the prize for shortest period of time between me watching the movie and finishing the book. I watched the movie on a flight between Jo’burg and London, and noticed it was based on a book by Dick King-Smith, one of my favorite authors when I was a kid. The movie ended, the plane landed, and a couple of hours later, I came across the book while browsing in a W.H. Smith in Heathrow. As it was under 100 pages long, I proceeded to read it right there in the children’s book aisle.

I disc
Janne Paananen
Vesihevonen lämminhenkinen tarina perheestä, joka löytää Skotlannin rannikolta munan, josta kuoriutuu jotain hyvin erikoista. Ensin se elää ammeessa, sitten piha-altaassa ja pian huomataan, että lähilampikin on sille liian pieni. Ja kasvaessaan kaveria on yhä vaikeampi pitää piilossa.

Tarina on erittäin tiivistetty ja pelkistetty, selkeästi suunnattu alakoululaisille lukijoille. Jännitystä tarjoillaan hyvin maltillisesti. Kaikkein mukavinta luettavaa ova kappaleet, jotka kuvataan merihirviön silm
It was a really enjoyable, really fast-paced and really short children's novel. It had really well done illustrations, great characters, really exciting adventure, great drama, great humor and a really good story. I haven't read this book since it was published in 1990. This is one of the best and shortest Dick King-Smith I've ever read in my whole life. I really recommend this book to both children and adults.
Rebecca McNutt
I got a copy of this novel in 2007, I was in the fifth grade at the time and the film adaptation had just come out. I really enjoyed how King-Smith took such a strange myth and wove it into a coming-of-age piece with lyrical dialogue, vivid imagery and WWII history.
I just found this book on Goodreads, on a Reccomended for You and I remembered that I loved this book dearly as a small child, reading it over and over and over. I had completely forgotten about it! Thank you Goodreads, I might have to pick it up again!!
This was a really fantastic book. We saw the movie when it came out and loved it. I have to say that based on the movie, I thought the book would be much longer and frankly, more complex. What a delight that 3rd, 4th and 5th graders could read this story and really get in to it and appreciate it as fully as older children did the movie. With that said - the book and movie are VERY different elementally speaking. This would be one of those great books to assign where it would be blatantly obvious ...more
Elysia Burns
I did like this book, I honestly loved the movie way more! The book just seemed to lack any conflict or plot, which is what I preferably look for in a book. But it was one of my favourite childhood movies so I had to read it.
Fijn verhaal voor kinderen die van fabeldieren en sprookjes houden. En ja, het zou best kunnen toch? Nu moet ik de film nog gaan kijken. Dit is wel een goede titel voor in een kist Bekijk t maar voor groep 5-6.
I enjoyed this book, it was a cute tale. Here's my review of it:
The Water Horse is a fanciful tale of two children named Kirstie and Angus, who one day after a storm find an enormous egg sac on the beach next to their house. They decide to keep it and bring it into their bathtub and it hatches into what their grandfather, nicknamed Grumble, calls a water horse or kelpie. They decide to call him Crusoe after the famous fictional explorer and as he grows bigger, they need to transfer him to a sma
Katie Day
Set in the 1930s, the story of a brother and sister who live by the sea in Scotland with their mother, her father whom they call Grumble, and their sailor father, who is often away for long periods. After a storm they find an object which turns out to be a kelpie or water-horse egg, and out of it hatches what is obviously meant to be the Loch Ness Monster as a baby. They secretly raise Crusoe (as they name it) -- which involves all kinds of problems as it gets bigger and bigger -- and they have ...more
Cute story. I got this book because I remember seeing previews for the movie, which I may now watch. The characters are colorful, and the story gives insight into both the water horse and the family. Great one!
This story was pretty captivating for my two boys as I read it to them. It does not have much adventure or mystery - but is a cute tale about the way two young kids and their Grandpa care for this water creature that hatches out of an egg and grows into a huge water monster. The character development was good. The main boy was a five year old, so we had fun comparing him to my son as we read. My kids loved the pictures here and there throughout the book that helped them more vividly imagine this ...more
Very sweet and funny book. It's the story of a sea monster that is raised as a pet by a Scottish family in the 1930's. I read the book a couple of years ago, and we recently borrowed the audio version from the library and listened to it on a car trip. The kids loved it. In fact, the story was so much fun that the adults stopped talking so that they could listen too.

Also, this was one of the read-aloud stories for my kindergartener's class. The teacher reported that the kids loved the book.

I have
Deirdre Keating
Can't wait to start this one with Aidan. The movie seemed made for him. He keeps pretending he has a water horse living in our tub now.

ETA: well, we fininshed it a month or more ago, and I wish I could say we loved it. I think the switch from the brother as the main protagonist to the sister was difficult for Aidan. I was glad to see the whole war/romance subplot done away with (why do movies demand every child have a dead parent?), but this is one that would have been better if we had read it b
The movie The Water Horse was based on this simple children's book. Photos from the movie are included. But the storyline is much different. You don't have to feel sorry for the poor little boy. And the story of a monster in the lake is much more believeable. The movie takes place during war times and the boy's father is away. The army comes to take over their house to take it over and "protect" the waters. There is much fear and gunfire in the movie. The children's book is just a simple tale. M ...more
A wonderful read with my 8 year old. Other than three of the main characters, the movie is completely different (although I love the movie as well).
Becky Jenson Straub
This was a very gentle (and a bit boring) story, but my 6 & 8 year olds just loved it and were really engaged while I was reading it to them.
Olean Public Library
-A cute story

-A great tale of a water horse being found unhatched and how the family who found it became closer. Grumble learned to smile again, the children learned great responsibly and grew as Crusoe did.

-Definitely a bit of whimsy and fantasy, it tells of a boy’s care and devotion to a one of a kind, rapidly growing creature. It also describes a warm family relationship in a harsh environment

- A great story about Loch Ness, an interpretation of what people might be seeing or hope to see when
I read this to the children. They liked it a lot. It's one of the ones recommended in the read aloud hand book. Earlier, we had read Babe, the Gallant Pig, but this one seemed to go over better.
Aug 18, 2014 Dan is currently reading it
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Dick King-Smith was born and raised in Gloucestershire, England, surrounded by pet animals. After twenty years as a farmer, he turned to teaching and then to writing children's books.

Dick writes mostly about animals: farmyard fantasy, as he likes to call it, often about pigs, his special favorites. He enjoys writing for children, meeting the children who read his books, and knowing that they get
More about Dick King-Smith...
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