I liked this one, but considering my endless enthusiasm for any story horse-related, I found this was just OK. The illustrations were lovely but the actual story was a little lacking. Not bad, but I never really connected to any of the characters, not even Doodlebug, though he was sweet.
I read this as a child and found it utterly beautiful how the young girl helps the horse become more than anyone ever thought it was capable of being. It was also a very heart-warming experience that the child was very responsible and the parents leveled with the child once she had brought home her pony. There was no sassy attitude where the child "pulled one over on her parents" and ultimately won. There was teamwork and cooperation and heroism in the form of a young, hard-working and responsible girl saving an injured animal from a cruel fate. Written in 1977, and I still love this story.
A delightful story of a girl and her pony with wonderful black and white illustrations by the author. This is one of those classics that it is sad that so few of today's children will be attracted to it because of its "old fashion" appearance. If you know of a girl in love with horses, please introduce her to this book!
There are very few perfect horse stories in the world and Doodlebug deserves to be known as one. I first read my soon-to-be-battered Scholastic edition when I was about nine years old and still have not outgrown the simple beauty of this story after 40+ years. Of course, having amazing illustrations helped, too.
This has some key elements of a great American horse story, without being sappy:
* Likeable heroine you can easily identify with * Hero equine has a great name * Family that is poor but hard-working * Neighborhood has a rich snob with a gorgeous horse * Saved little horse is not all he seems to be.
In the last couple of years, I picked up a replacement copy and have not regrettted it. I have a selection of horse books in a bag that can be easily grabbed to safety incase of flood or (fates forbid) fire. Doodlebug is in there.
I wish Irene Brady had written more horse books. I think I once had a non-fiction book by her but I didn't enjoy that nearly as much as this one.
On another note, this is the only fiction book I know of featuring a hackney pony. I do know there was a cartoon book that came out in the late 1970s or early 1980s that featured the shennanigans in a stable of either hackney or American Shetland ponies (they can be hard to tell apart at times.) All the Hackney ponies I ever met (and there were only a few) were nasty, but I hear that most are a friendy lot. Here's a black Hackney pony for you I found on Google Images:
A very cute book about a girl who buys a horse to save it from the butcher. She's embarrassed by the look of her horse (all matted and ugly) but grows to love him by the end. It's sweet.
The illustrations are done in pencil-art, but interestingly the horse is presented as the main focus of each picture - he is nearly always darker than the other characters, and it adds a charm not often seen with these kind of drawings.
While this story was adorable, I personally didn’t like Jennifer’s attitude right from the start, especially that she felt that competing with Myra was more important than appreciating what she had. Also, she didn’t seem all that keen on Doodlebug at all until she discovered the truth about him. Personally I feel Doodlebug would have been in much better hands at the other stables than stuck with a rotten little turn like Jennifer.
I think I was in first grade when my grandparents gave me this book as a gift. I fell in love with Doodlebug and his shiny coat! How can you not fall in love with Doodlebug? He was rescued from the slaughterhouse and then found by his true owners who let Doodlebug stay at his new home.
This is a sweet little story about a girl who wants a beautiful black stallion and finds herself with a ratty, limping black pony. He’s not what she dreamed of but he becomes very important to her and she discovers he’s much more than he first appeared.