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Everything but the Horse
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Everything but the Horse

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  186 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
This gorgeous, resonant tale is a beautiful recollection from Holly Hobbie's own childhood about her love affair with horses.When Holly's family moves from the city to the countryside, she's scared of this new world at first, but gradually comes to love the animals she encounters. Soon she is drawing the horses in the local pastures obsessively, hinting to her parents what ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 5th 2010 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Tricia Douglas
Sep 24, 2014 Tricia Douglas rated it really liked it
This was a cute little story from the renown Holly Hobbie. She has taken this tale from her own childhood when all she dreamed about was to have a horse. Most children go through this phase and I think this book would appeal to those children. The pictures are of course typical Holly Hobbie style, wonderfully realistic, and beautifully drawn. Does she get the horse she so wants? The ending is true to her story. You'll have to read the book to find out!
Jun 29, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it
37 months - we've always enjoyed her illustrations. Who can't relate to really really wanting something that may not be the most practical thing?
May 06, 2015 Rlouiseg rated it really liked it
Shelves: horses
This is a very nice book, although the ending is disappointing. It has lovely illustrations.
Jan 19, 2017 Amanda rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens-books
surprising ending, yet disappointing. good images
Sep 23, 2014 Kathryn rated it really liked it
I've been a fan of Holly Hobbie since I was a little girl and her prairie bonnet girls were all the rage. I've had mixed feelings about the picture books she has put out in more recent years. This one started out wonderfully, a warm and loving family portrait and a sweet story about a time of transition in her life when they moved from town to a dilapidated farm in the country when Holly was a child. At first, she was afraid of all the creatures, using an outhouse, and sleeping in a room with no ...more
Dec 03, 2013 Cecilia rated it it was amazing
This is a cute little story with various illustrations that will make you enjoy every bit of it. I would say you could easily use this book to talk about cherishing what you have. Though sometimes it can be hard we must accept that what we have is very precious. This book talks about a little girl who wishes to have a horse and when her family moves to a farm she hopes that she will get a horse of her own. When she gets to the farm she finds out that there is no horse for her but rather that her ...more
Nov 18, 2013 Emily rated it it was amazing
This is one of the magic ones! One of those picture books that you just have to hold in your hands and devour. From the cover to the last page, the fresh water colors are thoroughly elegant. I actually asked my kids several times in the first week that we had it from the library if they would let me read it to them. I just wanted to enjoy it as much as possible while we had it at home.

The writing is great, the story is true to childhood's hopeful but flexible nature, and I just adored this book
Bridget R. Wilson
Young Holly Hobbie adapts well to farm life. She enjoys the animals and even her chores. One day after seeing the neighbors riding, Holly decides she wants a horse. Her parents say no, but that doesn't keep Holly preparing. After all, her birthday is coming soon.

What I thought: A charming book that brings out the child in us all. Hobbie's narrative is just right. I can see the story appealing to children because she addresses them as children but with respect. Her preparations for the horse are
Monalisa Johnson-brown
This is about a little girl whose parents had a farm with animals. The toilet was an outside one outhouse, there was no electric light in her room, and she had to take care of the animals. They had cows and pigs and the neighbours had horses. Her friend Sarah rode an horse and she wanted one too. Grandma said it was too expensive and mom said they could not afford it even though she wanted it for her birthday. They bought her a gift and invited her to the barn, she was excited thinking it was th ...more
Feb 27, 2011 Melissa rated it did not like it
Seriously, this book was the biggest let down of a story. They literally had EVERYthing but the horse. The buildup to the birthday surprise in the barn, ready for that dream come true moment, and then the point of absolute disappointment arrive. The author unrealistically plays this off as a happy ending with a graphic of a happy child apparently content with this total disappointment.. Now way. The kid was not happy. My daughter's jaw dropped. She's 5. My jaw dropped. I'm....well older than 5. ...more
Nov 06, 2016 Paul rated it really liked it
Great illustrations with lots of warmth and heart. And the narrative throughout of the author's childhood and desire for a horse is strong. In my first reading I said "..until the very end and then weakened through a surrogate horse." This time through it felt the story ends less with disappointment and more with accepting how life can transform a desire for one thing into appreciating another. This childhood memoir captures well the settledness of childhood and the changes of growing up. (First ...more
Feb 15, 2011 Caren rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
This book, subtitled "a childhood memory", is an autobiographical picture book. When Holly Hobbie was very little, her family lived on the third floor of her grandparents' house. Then the family bought a run-down farm and moved there. This is her account of growing to love all the farm offered, which included "everything but the horse". She watched her neighbors ride horses,she drew horses, and she wished for a horse for her birthday. There is a bit of a surprise ending. The illustrations are, o ...more
Oct 05, 2014 Jenny rated it liked it
Being a city girl, my heart resonates most with Holly's neighborhood in the city...filled with kids and cats and dogs and grandparents. When Holly's family moves to the country, she has a hard time adjusting at first. But soon, she comes to love the country...the animals (ducks, chickens, geese, dogs and cats, a pig and a cow.). She is just missing one thing...a horse. She wishes and hopes for one for her birthday. Will her family get her a horse?

The illustrations are beautiful.
Apr 26, 2011 Jen rated it really liked it
What little girl hasn't had the dream of one day owning a horse? I know that I did and my Dad always said that even though we lived on a farm, we'd never have one! Holly shares this dream that she had as a young girl about living on a farm and always wanting a horse in this very precious book. I like the simple illustrations and the fact that just about anyone reading this book can relate the feeling of wanting something so badly and hoping against hope that we'd get it.
Jul 06, 2011 Vivian rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Step right back into the 1950's with a delightful ten-year-old girl who has moved to the country with her family. Between the descriptive text and the water-color illustrations you'll really feel like you're there witnessing all the drama and delight of this snippet of her life. Her one great desire is to have a horse of her own (like her idolized teen-age neighbor). You're even sure to cheer for the surprise ending.
Rosa Cline
Aug 30, 2014 Rosa Cline rated it it was ok
Ms Hobbie's book are generally interesting to me and my 2 year old granddaughter... and was looking forward to this one since it was based 'on a childhood memory' so really expected it to be really good. It was a good book but not at all, in my opinion, up to what we generally expect out of Ms Hobbie. For a 'farmer' or a 'horse lover' we really expected the ending to be good,...but the ending wasn't nothing what a typical young girl that was a horse lover expects. Disappointing...
May 26, 2016 Anie rated it really liked it
Shelves: rec-pic-books
I had a wonderful Holly Hobbie doll when I was a child. She was my constant companion. So when I discovered that Holly Hobbie was in fact a real person I was thrilled. This book was a cute tribute to the memories of the real Holly. She and her family moved from their house in the city to a house in the country. Holly had trouble adjusting to this new life, but soon found she loved taking care of the animals. And her greatest desire was a horse. Will Holly get what she wants?
This is a beautiful picture-book about Holly Hobbie as a young girl. The illustrations were charming and the story reflect the hopes of all young girls. It felt familiar. I couldn't decide if it was the style of Holly Hobbie or that it was possible I read it to my daughter when she was young. Either way, I was charmed.
Sep 09, 2014 Beverly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
This is a wonderful memoir from Hobbie's youth when she yearned for a horse. Not too different a yearning from Susan Jeffers. And, like Jeffers, she spent hours drawing and painting horses. The ink and watercolor illustrations in single and double page spreads are lovely. And, there is a surprising little twist at the end of the story.
Nancy Jo Lambert
Aug 07, 2011 Nancy Jo Lambert rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
From the author of the Toot and Puddle books, this little memoir is really well written and illustrated. It is a nice story about a little girl that wants a horse when her family moves to a farm. Doesn't every child at some point want a horse? A nice picture book.
Kristine Hansen
Jul 14, 2014 Kristine Hansen rated it it was amazing
Artwork perfect, the only thing I can fault this book is that by simply telling the story as it happened, sort of keeps the reader at arm's length. You don't live the story the way you do other Holly Hobbie books. Loved the unexpected twist at the ending and still think this is a great story!
Aimee Owen
Mar 26, 2012 Aimee Owen rated it liked it
Holly Hobbie shares her memories of moving to a farm, raising animals, and longing for a horse. She's got the barn, got the pasture...will her parents come through with a big surprise for her birthday? A cute tale!
Becky Aughenbaugh
Jul 19, 2011 Becky Aughenbaugh rated it really liked it
A great book to use when teaching prediction. My prediction of what was to come at the end was totally off.
Jill Hardy
May 11, 2011 Jill Hardy rated it liked it
Cute story but ending was not good for me. I felt like I was kind of jerked out of the story with an ending that didn't fit.
Oct 20, 2014 Nicole rated it really liked it
A story of discovery. Wonderful and heartwarming. This title will definitely go on my "buy-for-the-library" list
Jul 13, 2012 Bree rated it did not like it
Shelves: horses
possibly the worst ending ever in a picture book
my horse loving daughter hated it
cover is very pretty, not for horse-lovers
Tanya W
Sep 02, 2011 Tanya W rated it really liked it
Wonderful childhood memory by Holly Hobbie about her childhood and moving to a farm and her love of animals.
Nov 23, 2010 BookKids rated it it was amazing
With vibrant, sun-drenched watercolors, Holly Hobbie explores an age-old problem. Country house with a spacious barn? Check. Eager rider? Check. Perfect horse waiting to be saddled? Hmmm...
May 09, 2012 Marcia rated it really liked it
A sweet book described as a "childhood memory". The author moves from the city to a ramshackle country farm. All she wants is a horse. Charming illustration make this a cozy read.
Mar 08, 2011 Amy rated it liked it
I really loved this book! I was really getting into it UNTIL THE END ... abrupt ending that I was not expecting at all ...
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Birthed with the name of Denise Holly Ulinskas in 1944, Holly Hobbie first sold her distinctive artwork of the little cat-loving girl who carries herself in a rag dress and giant bonnet. It wasn’t until she married Douglas Hobbie in 1964 when she named her originally nameless character after her.
When the first images of the rag-clothed little girl came to the public’s consciousness, the character
More about Holly Hobbie...

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