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The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  12,174 ratings  ·  682 reviews
A Plains Indian girl is lost in the mountains during a storm. A wild stallion becomes her friend and she decides to ride free with the herd even after she is found.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published February 1st 2001 by Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books (first published 1978)
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Ashley Hietpas She doesn't have one. She's only referred to as "the girl".

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Average rating 4.01  · 
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For the most part, I have indeed enjoyed The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses and have truly loved author/illustrator Paul Goble's boldly expressive illustrations. However, while I certainly do understand why this book won the Caldecott Medal, and that many also seem to have fond childhood memories of it, that many simply adore The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses, the controversies of authenticity and charges of cultural appropriation that have been repeatedly levelled at Paul Goble have certainly made me ...more
Oh dear, I had a review and the program didn't save it, it appears.

I thought this a very strange story. The artwork was lovely, but it was a strange legend. I guess most legends are strange. It had a Catharine the Great feel to me to the story.

A girl loves horses and one day they stampede away with her and get lost for a year. She does not want to return to her village.

The kids were crazy about this one either. Neither of them got the story. They both gave this love stars. I'm sorry I lost th
Kimberly Dawn
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

I have been reading many Native American folktales lately and I have recently stumbled upon this little gem called “The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses.” “The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses” is a Caldecott Medal award winning book by Paul Goble which is about how a young Native American girl’s love for horses has led her to the land of the wild horses and how she has to make the decision of her life to be happy forever. “The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses” is a true classic tale that every child will enjoy f
Jun 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
Is Paul Goble's The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses one of your favorite books? It won the Caldecott Medal thirty-five years ago, but let's take a look at it to see if we'd use it today, when one of the criteria for books about American Indians is whether or not it names a specific tribe.

Here's the first paragraph in the story:

"The people were always moving from place to place following the herds of buffalo. They had many horses to carry the tipis and all their belongings. They trained their fastest
Jan 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a lovely folktale about a (big shocker here) girl who loved wild horses. There's also a couple of Native American songs about horses at the end.

The story was interesting, though somewhat predictable by folktale standards, but the illustrations are wonderful, with bold colors, strong geometric designs and a raw, natural feel to them.

This book was selected as one of the alternate books for the September 2014 - Horses discussion at the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books Group here a
This book was around during my own childhood and I never discovered it. My son's childhood missed it, too. Thank goodness I finally found it in time to give to my daughter, whose long black hair blows in the wind just like the hair of the girl who loved wild horses.

If you have a daughter or granddaughter (of any hair color!) who happens to love horses, this is the perfect book to add to your library in the Year of the Horse.

What a gorgeous, magical book!
S. J.
Jul 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Art students, fans of Native Amerian myths
Recommended to S. by: Reading Rainbow
As it has been years since I read this book, this will be an incomplete review.

I understand that my opinion is not the norm, but I did not like this book near as much as I thought I would. The illustrations are amazing and probably do deserve the award. Native American myths are usually interesting and entertaining for young children...but I felt that the way the myth was presented negated much of the entertainment value. I frankly found this boring. You never got a chance to relate with the mai
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Caldecott Medal 1979

I was surprised by how much I actually liked the illustrations. I really appreciated the flow and movement to them with all the vivid colors that captured the Native Americans, their villages, and the flora and fauna in an authentic, yet passive way. The story was interesting, but I must admit the plot weakened for me when the girl gave her parents a colt as a gift. That just didn't make sense to me. Why didn't the horses just live with her and her family? The ending was a li
Kylie Walter
Sep 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rdg-334
The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses has been one of my favorite books since I was a young girl. My mom use to read it to me until I was able to read it to myself. It is a Navajo story about how a plains girl became one with the horses. It begins with a young girl getting lost on the plains with her tribes horses she then meets the wild horses and they become one herd. The young girl lives amoung them until one day men from her tribe find her and bring her home. She is happy to see her family but she ...more
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
i recently had a discussion with a friend of mine about which picture books we liked best when we were children. she mentioned really loving this one and i was surprised that i had never heard of it.

so i remedied that by getting it from the library and it was really enjoyable. the illustrations are unique and very beautiful. i'm not an artist myself so i don't know how to describe them well enough to do them any justice but to me they remind me of paper cut-outs. flat and sort of two dimensional
J-Lynn Van Pelt
Told in a simple, yet beautiful narrative, this story highlights American Indian beliefs in humanity's connection to nature. A girl who has a special gift to talk to horses, finds that she is more at home with them than her own people, but she never forgets her parents or village and brings them a new colt every year. The legend eventually says that she bacame a horse and her people are happy to have a representative in the horse community. There are also two American Indian songs about horses i ...more
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Suzanne Moore
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Paul Goble, born September 27, 1933, is author and illustrator of over 40 children’s books about Native Americans. He was born and raised in Oxford, England and as a child when his mother made him a tipi and fringed leggings he developed a fascination with this culture. As an adult, he moved to Black Hills, South Dakota to learn all he could from the Native Americans. In 1959, he was ‘adopted’ by Chief Edgar Red Cloud and given the Indian name Wakinyan Chikala, “Little Thunder.”

It is known that
Miranda Jones
Sep 14, 2013 rated it liked it
These illustrations were beautifully done and really captures the Native American artwork; he used rich colors and intricate details on the clothing. The pictures really seemed to put the text to life. As a reader, I was able to feel the fear of the horses when the storm hit. I especially liked this book because I love horses and have always dreamed about seeing wild mustangs. What I found odd was that this young girl leaves her tribe to live with the wild horses. I wonder how she was able to su ...more
Book Concierge
This is a traditional Pueblo Indian folk tale. A young girl loves horses and takes on the care of the tribe’s stock. But during a violent storm her favorite horse is spooked by the lightning and runs away with the girl on her back; the horse runs so far that they do not know how to get back to the camp. However, they notice a herd of wild horses, led by a spotted stallion, and they join that herd for help and protection. Eventually the girl returns to her people, but she finds she misses the wil ...more
Jun 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book gets three stars mostly because I just love the illustration, I think they are so vivid and colorful, I just want to stare at them all day. But I don't care for the story nearly as much as the pictures. I didn't really care for the ending and I thought that some parts of the story were a little weird and I wondered why the characters would act that way. All in all, this is a very pretty book that I think anyone could enjoy.

*Taken from my book reviews blog: http://reviewsatmse.blogspot.
Robert Davis
A Navajo tale of a young girl who might be considered a "horse whisperer." She loves to be among the horses of her tribe and discovers a heard of wild horses, whom she comes to lives with.

Paul Goble proves to be a very talented artist. His illustrations are crisp, sharp, colorful and richly detailed. This is quite deserving of the Caldecott Medal.
Katie Fitzgerald
I love the way Paul Goble creates different landscapes in his illustrations, simply by changing the arrangement of his figures on a white background. The story itself freaked me out a little bit, but I have never been fond of horses. Little girls with that particular obsession will undoubtedly relate much better to the girl’s desire to run with the horses, and to become one.
Linda Lipko
A girl in an Indian village loved horses, and they loved her in return. She quickly did her chores so she could enjoy the horses. One day, she took the horses with her for a trip to the meadows beyond the village. A storm came upon them. The Indian girl was successful in calming the horses from the loud bangs of thunder, and the quick, nasty lightening.

After this experience, she was asked by the horses to live with them. Leaving her family, she lived happily among the beautiful wild horses. When
ella rue
my teacher made me read this book bc I was a horse girl. Read in 2010-ish?
Mar 25, 2010 rated it it was ok
I certainly would consider two and a half stars for The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses.

Paul Goble's telling of this story evokes all the nuanced majesty of a deeply affecting Native American legend. The Girl Who Loved Horses, as she is known, stands out among the people of her tribe for her intuitive affinity for horses. Only she can get them to do what they need to do, leading them to streams to drink and sheltering them from dangerous weather and other hazards of the land. The Girl loves the hors
Abigail Lutz
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
“The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses” tells the story of a young girl who loves her people, but loves the horses more. She understands the horses in a special way and spends time helping to look after them with her mother. One day in a storm, the girl jumps on a horse as it gallops way scared of the thunder. She ends up in an area she has never been before and lives happily with the horse while her people search for her without success. Eventually she is found and brought back to the village, but she ...more
Clare Wojda
1. Genre - Multicultural
2. Awards - Caldecott Medal, An ALA Notable Children's Book, Library of Congress Children's Book Award, NCSS/CBC Notable Children's Trade Book for Field of Social Studies
3. Grade Level - K-2
4. This would be great for a social studies unit when learning about the continent of North America and how there were people who lived here before it was "discovered" by Christopher Columbus. The book could be read to the class out loud and then a follow up activity would be a handout
This story is about a Native American girl who ends up being saved by wild horses during a storm. She is welcomed into the wild horse heard by the head stallion. Her tribe searches for her but she could not be found. A year later hunters spotted the girl and told her tribe. She gets caught and returns home but she gets sick and asks to return to the wild horses. Each year she brings her parents a colt until one year she does come back. They see a mare running with the stallion and know that the ...more
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is another story that I thought was a little weird, but I had to put my own 21st century sensibilities away and take it for what it was. My reaction was that something should have been worked out so the girl could be with both the horses and her family but maybe she was older. Even if she was younger, she was happy and healthy and well cared for. The illustrations are wonderful, which explains the Caldecott medal it one.
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautiful, unique illustrations fill the pages and are a feast for the eyes. This reminds me of a book I would have read as a child--and probably did.

Veg*n parents note: One page shows a buffalo hunt, with an arrow in one of the bison and a small amount of blood. Other hunters ride alongside bison, with bows drawn, preparing to shoot. This is done in the artist's stylized artwork and isn't very graphic. However, this image may still bother young or sensitive children.
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This book shows a different culture and all that applies. The illustrations are amazing. The colors are so vivid and many of the animals have incredible detail. There is so much movement in the pictures as well. The girl loves her people, but the horses draw her in. The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses is so powerful with words and pictures.
Jul 15, 2013 rated it liked it
I love the Goble art, and I enjoy the story while I'm reading it, but it doesn't stay with me.
Maggi Rohde
I think the illustrations still hold up, even decades later. Certainly any child passionate about horses will appreciate the images and concepts.
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Paul Goble was an award winning author and illustrator of children's books. He has won both the Caldecott Medal and The Library of Congress' Children's Book of the Year Award.
He gave his entire collection of original illustrations to the South Dakota Art Museum in Brookings, South Dakota.
Goble, a native of England, studied at the Central School of Art in London. He became a United States citizen i

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