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The Water Horse

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,451 Ratings  ·  202 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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The Loch by Steve AltenThe Boggart by Susan CooperThe Water Horse by Dick King-SmithThe Great Orm of Loch Ness by Fredrick William HolidayThe Monsters of Loch Ness by Roy P. MacKal
Loch Ness Monster
3rd out of 89 books — 7 voters
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Earth, Wind and Fire
88th out of 594 books — 97 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,869)
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Jun 10, 2012 Teresa rated it really liked it
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
Ivonne Rovira
Oct 24, 2015 Ivonne Rovira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who still has wonder in the soul
Dick King-Smith, best known for The Sheep-Pig, which became the movie Babe, delivers another winner with The Water Horse, set in Scotland in the 1930s. Young Kirstie discovers a sac-like object that she takes home and places in her water-filled bathtub. To the delight of Kirstie, her younger brother Angus and Kirstie’s grandfather (nicknamed Grumble), it hatches into a baby sea monster (called her a water-horse). The children’s mother’s less enthusiastic, but she grudgingly concedes to taking ca ...more
Ana Maria Rînceanu
The characters were so lovable and I wish there had been more action, but it's understandable given the context.
Ashton Livsey
Oct 17, 2011 Ashton Livsey rated it it was amazing
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
Wanda Hartzenberg
Jun 25, 2015 Wanda Hartzenberg rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Listened to the first two chapters for free on Audible. Awh! Yes, I think this is a book old and young will love. The movie was sweet, the book has that extra flair.
Apr 18, 2014 Gilles rated it liked it
Shelves: library
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
Leah Steelman
Aug 03, 2015 Leah Steelman rated it it was amazing
Listened to this 1.5 hour Audible book with my three sons, aged 11, 10 and 8. We all loved it!
☪♥Magic Love Wonderland☯♥Love☮
Jun 05, 2016 ☪♥Magic Love Wonderland☯♥Love☮ rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who like Children's Fantasy and Animal Stories
Shelves: fantasy, animals
The Water Horse was a short, sweet and cute story about the friendship between animal and humans.

There were not many great details as the story was really short but nevertheless the writing was good and I liked the idea behind it.

PLUS, I basically lived for almost 8 months in Scotland, and having been to Fort Williams and Loch Lomond, want to say that I loved the setting for this novel.

(view spoiler)
Jun 11, 2016 Sabrina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Read first time 2/2-13 = 5/5 stars

Reread 11/6-16 = 4/5 stars
May 09, 2015 Logan rated it really liked it
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
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
Debbie Reiber
Mar 08, 2013 Debbie Reiber rated it it was amazing
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
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
Not sure how to rate a full-on children's book, as I haven't read many since I aged out of them, but this one was really sweet, fun and enjoyable. Can't wait to share it with a niece or nephew.
Ihana tarina Vesihevosesta, jonka kehitystä kirjassa kerrotaan munasta jättiläiseksi. Loch Nessin vesihevonen on olemassa, ei se ole hirviö. Se on niin sulonen.
Sep 29, 2015 Slim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
I liked it. It was an interesting little book can't complain some parts made me laugh though. But other then that it wasn't that bad for a kid book lol. >>> listen to it on audible
Mar 23, 2016 Jemma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all ages, all genders
An adorable book about a scottish family who find a water horse.
I love scottish things, I love the Loch Ness Monster, I loved this book
Suzy Kennedy
Nov 22, 2015 Suzy Kennedy rated it really liked it
A cute little story. I highly recommend it to read with children. Full of imagination and wonder.
Jul 29, 2015 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had some much beloved audiotapes as a youngster, so when this popped up as a daily deal, I asked my daughter if she might be interested in it. She said sure, so I purchased it and set it aside until I had to drive her and and her cousin 3 hours back from Girl Scout camp. You would have never known that the car had two rambunctious elementary school girls just off an exciting trip because they were raptly silent for the duration of the book. Well, silent except for the pained protests against C ...more
Apr 29, 2009 Ben rated it liked it
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.
Apr 20, 2016 Stefania rated it liked it
Una dolce, breve storia che sono certa avrei apprezzato ancor di più se solo l'avessi letta da bambina.
Il racconto riprende il famoso mito del mostro di Lochness, facendo in modo che la creatura venga scoperta da due fratellini che gli si affezionano fin da subito.
La cosa che ho apprezzato di più oltre alla semplicità della narrazione e alla tenerezza trasmessa attraverso le parole, sono stati i momenti in cui il POV (point of view) apparteneva a Crusoe (il mostro), descrivendo meravigliosamente
Jan 01, 2008 Heather rated it really liked it
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
Feb 13, 2013 Anne Hamilton rated it really liked it
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
Mar 03, 2011 Nina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, childrens
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!

Jun 23, 2008 Barbara rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, kids-ya, 2008
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
Morninglight Mama
Feb 04, 2016 Morninglight Mama rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s, fiction
The big kid and I read this one together, and I had not read it before, so it was new to both of us. We had such fun with it. Angus truly cracked us up- with his sailor phrases and his constant hunger, we were always happy when he contributed to the conversation! This was so sweetly written, and it provided for some nice geography lessons as we looked at maps of Scotland in our atlas. We also tooled around on Google looking at 'photos' of the Loch Ness Monster. My 7-year-old son is struggling wi ...more
Title / Author / Publication Date:
The Water Horse / King-Smith, Dick. Parkins, David (ill.) / 1998

Genre: Fantasy

Format: Book – print. 118 pages

Plot summary:
Set in the 1930s on the coast of Scotland, this is the story of eight year old Kristie and her younger brother Angus, who find a large egg on the beach. When it hatches into an unusual sea creature they have to decide what to do with him.

Review citation:
Tilden, L. W. (1998). The Water Horse. School Library Journal, 44(10), 102-105.

Selection s
Nov 22, 2014 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Vicki Bushnell
Jul 20, 2015 Vicki Bushnell rated it it was amazing
This book was so fun. I listened to it as an audio book and I loved the different characters. I felt like I was traveling the adventure of discovering and raising the Water Horse right along with them. The ups, the down, the worries, the elation... This is what a story is supposed to do. Suck you in and bring you along on a marvelous journey.
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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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