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Fritz and the Beautiful Horses
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Fritz and the Beautiful Horses

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  1,235 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
Fritz, a pony excluded from the group of beautiful horses within the walled city, becomes a hero when he rescues the children of the city.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 23rd 1981 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1981)
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(showing 1-30)
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Sep 03, 2014 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Jan Brett is a hit-or-miss author/illustrator for me. Although I usually really enjoy her illustrations, and loved both story and pictures in some cases (Mossy, for example) sometimes her humans seem a bit "off" to me, or I don't connect with the story. So I was interested to read an early Brett with Fritz and the Beautiful Horses and I'm pleased to say I enjoyed it on the whole. Though I am a little tired of the underdog-having-to-become-a-hero-to-get-recognized storyline, I was happy that at l ...more
Sep 11, 2010 Ronyell rated it it was amazing
“Fritz and the Beautiful Horses” is another children’s book for the beautiful mind of Jan Brett and it is about how a not so pretty pony named Fritz proves to the haughty town of beautiful horses that anyone who has a good heart and is dependable can be beautiful no matter what. “Fritz and the Beautiful Horses” is definitely one of the best books about true beauty and courage that children will love for many years!

Two words to describe this book: beautiful and cute! Jan Brett has done an excelle
Linda Lipko
Jan 06, 2014 Linda Lipko rated it it was amazing
I am a person who cannot draw a straight line even when using a ruler. All the more reason why I appreciate the artistry of Jan Brett and her wonderfully illustrated books. Jan Brett is a prodigious author.

Writing and illustrating is quite a natural process for her. As a small child she loved to pretend she could enter the world created in illustrated books she read. Now, as an adult, she travels to various places throughout the world and uses these special travels as a springboard for her idea
A great hero story, and the pony is very cute in the illustrations. The book has an older (time-wise, not age) feel to the story and the pictures. I love Jan Brett, but sometimes I think her stories might read too slowly for story time audiences. At least for an older one who are squirmy after a whole day of school. Perhaps I will Book Talk this one instead. It's too good to pass up. I was a little disappointed that the town didn't learn the greater part of the lesson on outer and inner beauty. ...more
Rena Sherwood
I know I read this several times when I owned it and yet I can't remember a darn thing about it except that I liked it (hence the three stars) and that the illustrations were fabulous. One day I may have to buy another copy to refresh my rapidly dwindling memory. It's not exactly Alzheimer's. It's more like half-zeimer's.

Sorry I can't remember more.


UPDATE: I found a replacement copy at (where else?) Amazon. It used to be Sydney's copy (jusdging by the name inked on the cover) but now it's mine,
Jan 04, 2015 Joan rated it liked it
Recommended to Joan by: June Krell
This is a very early Jan Brett work, from 1981. It is charming and teaches the lesson that small can be just perfect. And that looks aren't everything. A walled city only allowed beautiful fancy horses inside its walls. Fritz was not a horse, but a pony, and definitely not beautiful. So he was outside the walls. One day the bridge to the city broke with the kids outside and the citizens (presumably the parents?) inside. So how were the kids to get to the citizens? Fritz to the rescue! You can se ...more
Oct 08, 2015 Russell rated it liked it
A shallow beauty-obsessed society faces a potential danger. (view spoiler) ...more
Sep 28, 2014 Jenny rated it really liked it
I love Jan Brett's typical illustrations and busy borders that hint at what is to come. But with this sweet story of Fritz, a pony who is not beautiful or beloved by the townspeople, the simpler illustrations with more muted colors and more white space were perfectly suited to convey the emotions that Fritz experienced, the pride and haughtiness of the other horses, and the changing relationship between Fritz and the children. I think that this story can remind us that each of us has something v ...more
Tracey Billson
Jun 15, 2016 Tracey Billson rated it it was amazing
A lovely story of how differences in ability and looks does not mean uselessness. The beautiful horses prance and dance and are good for show, but when a study, reliable, friendly horse was needed, then short, scruffy-looking Fritz saves the day. Jan Brett's art work is always good although in this book you can see that her talent is just beginning. Still, a keeper, and one I would keep on my shelves to read to my grandchildren.
I was OBSESSED with this book when I was a kid. It is so so so so beautiful (duh, Jan Brett's the best). I think I liked how fancy the fancy horses are (so fancy!), and also how cute and scrappy Fritz is. My mother gave me a hardcover copy for my birthday a few years ago and I totally love it just as much as I did when I was little.
Feb 18, 2013 Samantha rated it really liked it
This book is about a horse who doesn't fit in with all the other elegant horses until the day he does a heroic act that saves all the children of the town. I liked this book because it shows that it's not how you look on the outside, but it's your actions that matter. I think this book has a good moral lesson for students, and with good discussion questions could develop a great discussion.
May 06, 2015 Emma rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-2015
A great story by Jan Brett. Fritz and the Beautiful Horses is a story about a not so beautiful little pony that is left out and how he comes to be accepted by being helpful.

I'm not sure I really like the implied message behind this story: if you're ugly, you'd better have something else to offer. But the story is cute anyway and Jan Brett always makes excellent illustrations.
Sep 11, 2014 June rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: horse requests
Recommended to June by: Goodreads Childrens' Picture Group
Shelves: picture-book, horses
Fritz is excluded from the beautiful horses that are allowed in the city, however, he proves that deeds are more important than looks.
Dec 07, 2016 Colleen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: author-study
Fritz is a dependable and kind pony who is excluded from the city because he is not beautiful like the "beautiful horses." One day, Fritz realizes the children are in need, after the bridge collapses. The beautiful horses do not want to get dirty or fall, so Fritz decides to step in and carry the children to the other side.

This is the very first Jan Brett book I read. I decided to read this to two children who I tutor and they both became very upset at how Fritz was being treated by the citizen
Stacy Renee  (LazyDayLit)
Beautiful illustrations, as always. Jan Brett is a master of her craft.
My daughter especially loved this one and it's adorable pony, Fritz.
Stephanie A.
Feb 10, 2017 Stephanie A. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books, own-it
I loved this book even before I specifically loved horses (beyond the fact that they were animals). The illustrations are breathtaking, and what's not to love about a scruffy pony saving the day?
Kathryn (Nine Pages)
Originally published on my blog, Nine Pages .

This was one of my favorite stories as a child, and it has remained fairly influential in my life. Fritz sees all the tall, glamorous, finely bedecked horses, and he wants to do what they do and be loved as they are loved. He notices that the children seem frightened of the fine horses. He prances before the people, doing his best impression of the horses’ prance, but they laugh at him, and he goes away dejected, but when the bridge cracks stranding
Nov 13, 2009 Meredith rated it it was amazing
As I child, I always related more to Fritz than the Ugly Duckling. I was never pretty, but I was always useful. The Ugly Duckling is a late bloomer. Eventfully, he became incredibly beautiful. But Fritz is just a sturdy like hill pony. He never becomes one of the beautiful horses. Instead, he makes a place for himself in their world by using his own innate ability and resourcefulness.

I like that the story didn't sugarcoat the fact that physical attractiveness is highly praised by society. Adult
Kristine Hansen
Anytime Jan Brett writes and illustrates a book, you know you're in for something special.

Ah, the beautiful horses. As adults we put so much value on things that have so little use for children. The look of fear on the kids' faces as they try to ride the beautiful horses tells the whole story. And the brave little pony is just the antidote to uncaring adults who care more for appearances than for what's comfortable, or even safe.

The pony is a pure delight and is everything a pony is. Obviously t
Tricia Douglas
Sep 07, 2014 Tricia Douglas rated it it was amazing
What a lovely Jan Brett story (and pictures)! I have read many of Jan Brett's books and enjoyed every one. This book is no exception. The story is wonderful. A little pony is excluded from the other village horses because he is not beautiful. Brett makes us love this little pony even more when he shows his true nature by rescuing the children of the village from a cracking bridge. This book was written back in 1981 and I think shows more freedom of illustrations than those where she uses her bor ...more
Jan 14, 2014 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a nice tale about the importance of what's on the inside that counts, not what's on the outside.

The illustrations are nicely detailed, but quite different from the typical Nordic scenes we're used to from Jan Brett. It's a must for horse fans and we enjoyed reading this book together.

This book was selected as one of the books for the September 2014 - Horses discussion at the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books Group here at Goodreads.
Nicholas Linsk
Apr 28, 2014 Nicholas Linsk rated it it was amazing
This book’s illustrations are full of color and the artwork sparkles in every detail throughout the book. This story is a sure-footed pony who finally gets the chance to shine in his own best way. Brett uses very close attention to detail as shown in the drawing of the horses. The horses are drawn so well that you can see the different structures of how the horses are built, the facial features look lifelike, as well as the different coats of the horses in the story. For example you can clearly ...more
Sep 04, 2014 Kimberly rated it really liked it
This is a very sweet story about a pony, Fritz, who wants to be accepted by the townspeople who only like beautiful, graceful horses. Fritz shows his importance by helping in a emergency and wins the hearts of the children.

I am a huge fan of Jan Brett and love the detailed illustrations in all of her books. This book is no different. I love the Eastern European feel to the book and the folklore style of the story. The only reason I didn't give this book 5 stars, was that I really missed the full
Apr 17, 2013 Holly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rowans-books, owned
This is a lovely book for children and a charming tale for adults as well; I bought it years before I had a child. This story tells the true secret of horses; handsome is as handsome does. Those of us who have spent many years working with horses understand the true beauty of a homely equine with intelligence, patience and a kindly heart. I now have a young daughter who I have given this book to, and it is one of her favorites. She is starting riding lessons this summer and I am shopping for pon ...more
Jill Wolf
Mar 27, 2016 Jill Wolf rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Picture Book #24
This book was about a town where only beautiful horses were let inside the walls of the town. All other horses had to stay outside the walls, including Fritz (a pony). At first, people didn't notice him, and when they did, they would laugh. Then, the bridge cracked and children were stuck outside of the town walls. Neither the children's horses or the other citizen's horses would go down the hill into the water to get the children to safety. Fritz came to the rescue and carried
Feb 03, 2012 Kay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
i freaking love this book soo much. my mother found it when i was little but i coudlnt find it the other day when i was looking for it. she said that our cat at the time destroyed it. i went back to college all sad and then it came in the mail! she had found a new copy online! YAYY the internets! haha
but anyway, i love everything about this book, down to its size. the pictures are gorgeous and insipiring. the story line is satisfying and teaches good lessons. i cant explain to you how much i lov
Jun 23, 2016 Nancy rated it really liked it
There was a kingdom that had beautiful horses, and they decreed that only beautiful horses could live inside the castle gates. The young royal children were riding on the large beautiful horses, but they were afraid. One day the bride started to break, after the adults had all crossed the bridge. There was a scruffy little pony who had noticed the children, and wanted to let them ride on him. When this opportunity arose, the little pony carried the children one at a time across the water to safe ...more
May 24, 2016 Stephanie rated it really liked it
This example of traditional literature tells the story of Fritz, a kind-hearted pony, with dreams of living in the walled city. Only beautiful horses were allowed to live in the city, but Fritz was not beautiful. Fritz did have admirable qualities that he used at the perfect opportunity. This story is accompanied by beautiful illustrations that appear to be watercolor and pen or colored pencil. The illustrations definitely enhance the traditional feel of this book. This story would be great for ...more
Jul 29, 2008 Christina rated it it was amazing
This is my FAVORITE book by Jan Brett. The illustrations of the horses are amazing (horses are VERY hard to draw. My mom (the elementary school librarian) bought this book for Lindsey. She said one of the teachers at her school wrote to Jan, telling her how much her kids like her stories. Jan wrote her back and told her how she comes up with the stories and her inspirations. I thought that was great! I immediately went to the library and checked out The Hat and The Mitten....both wonderful!
Feb 07, 2012 Beverly rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
Jan Brett is another of my favorite illustrators, and I love her illustrations for this book. This story is one of her simpler, shorter stories, with a universal theme: the unlovely underdog becomes hero. Her horses are so elegant, and beautifully proportioned, and little Fritz is so cute and chubby with short legs. As someone else pointed out, the illustrations in this book are not framed in borders, as is so common in her other books, so the illustrations do seem to flow along.
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LDS Ladies Book Club: Fritz and the Beautiful Horses 3 9 Jul 26, 2016 01:41AM  
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  • Album of Horses
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  • I'm Not Scared!
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  • The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses
  • Just Plain Fancy
  • Fireflies (Reading Rainbow)
  • Do Princesses Really Kiss Frogs?
  • How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head
  • Equus: The Creation of a Horse
  • The Valentine Bears
  • My Pony
  • Katy No-Pocket
  • Sophie's Masterpiece: A Spider's Tale
With over thirty three million books in print, Jan Brett is one of the nation's foremost author illustrators of children's books. Jan lives in a seacoast town in Massachusetts, close to where she grew up. During the summer her family moves to a home in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts.
As a child, Jan Brett decided to be an illustrator and spent many hours reading and drawing. She says, "I reme
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