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Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  786 ratings  ·  179 reviews
Adrian Simcox tells anyone who will listen that he has a horse--the best and most beautiful horse anywhere.

But Chloe does NOT believe him. Adrian Simcox lives in a tiny house. Where would he keep a horse? He has holes in his shoes. How would he pay for a horse?

The more Adrian talks about his horse, the angrier Chloe gets. But when she calls him out at school and even
Hardcover, 34 pages
Published August 14th 2018 by Dial Books
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David Schaafsma
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
The title tells the truth: Adrian Simcox does NOT have a horse, but then again, he also does have a horse. Chloe tells the tale and she knows that Adrian does not have a horse, and is annoyed by it, because this is a lie. But what she doesn't fully understand is poverty, and why it is an underprivileged kid like Adrian might lie about what he does and does not own. So she visits his house and sees what he and his family do and do not have, they become real to her.

And then, as she talks to
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Children's Stories About the Imagination & the Role of Kindness
A young girl learns the value of kindness in this immensely moving picture-book, starting out with a concern for the facts, but ending up with an appreciation for the truth. Convinced that her classmate, the eponymous Adrian Simcox, could not possibly have a horse - after all, he lived in a small house in the middle of town, and came from such poor circumstances that he always had holes in his shoes - Chloe insisted to anyone who would listen that the horse Adrian was always describing was ...more
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This story carries you along as Chloe tells it. She doesn't believe Adrian Simcox has a horse, the one he's always talking about. He couldn't have a horse. He lives in their no-horses town and he doesn't have the money and it irks Chloe to no end to hear him telling stories about a horse that doesn't exist.

Until...she goes on a walk with her dog one evening and ends up at Adrian Simcox's house. Does she find a horse there? Sort of.

And that last line and illustration are so beautiful and all
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Hilary by: Abigail
Adrian Simcox pretends to have a horse and Chloe finds this really annoying. Adrian lives with his grandparents and as the story progresses you begin to see why Adrian feels the need to pretend he has a horse. I like the joke that Chloe says her pet is perfectly normal (a breed that you could argue is far from perfectly normal) The illustrations are beautiful and a lovely message that is reminiscent of The Hundred Dresses.
Nov 30, 2018 added it
Shelves: picture-books
Mixed feelings. Critical girl learns empathy, decides to be kind. Also, the illustrations are so nice. That last spread where the horse becomes visible in the bushes is beautiful.

But here's the thing. This happened to me when I was in elementary school. I had a friend who lied about her family's wealth and status. She would say anything that she thought would make other people like her more. I was friends with her before she started lying. Sure it was fun to imagine the cool things we could do.
Julie Kirchner
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lots to think about and discuss with this one! I could see it being paired with Each Kindness and used with upper elementary to have some good conversation around empathy.
Melinda Beatty
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A sweet and thoughtful children's book that gently hammers home the point that sometimes it is better to be kind than right.
Mar 11, 2019 added it
Shelves: childrens
I'm not sure what to make of this book, honestly. It made me incredibly uncomfortable, as someone who is poor and who works with poor children in a high poverty area. So I guess I'll say a couple of things.

1) Children lie. Rich children, poor children, middle class children, children lie. Sometimes they lie to get out of trouble, sometimes they lie because they are testing reality, sometimes you have no idea why they lie. Sometimes they lie well, sometimes they lie incredibly poorly, but lying
Destinee Sutton
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This strongly reminded me of THE HUNDRED DRESSES by Estes. I thought it was really well done and pleasure to read aloud. The illustrations are wonderful, especially the twist at the end where you have to look carefully to understand.

Pair with EACH KINDNESS by Woodson to start a conversation about empathy.

Update: The more times I read this book, the more impressed I am by the first-person narration. Even without the gorgeous illustrations, the text stands alone as an exploration of literal truth
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
A beautiful book about looking beyond ourselves and recognizing that while we are different, we are also alike. I appreciated the way the teacher and Chloe's mother encouraged her come to an understanding and appreciation of Adrian's perspective.
Mrs. Krajewski
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
We were big fans of Adrian Simcox. ...more
Stephanie Croaning
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, picture-books
This would be a good book to share with students who come from more affluent backgrounds to open up a discussion about empathy.

Picture book, fiction
by Marcy Campbell; illustrated by Corinna Luyken
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2018
2 out of 5 stars

There are things to like about this book -- gorgeous illustrations, message of empathy and understanding, and the change in heart a child goes through as they learn about people who are less privileged. The point of view of the story, that of the more
It's clear to anyone who is observant that Adrian Simcox could not possibly have a horse. Chloe is infuriated that he keeps talking about the horse, describing it in vivid detail, and one day, she's simply had enough and calls him out as a liar in front of their classmates. After Chloe tells her mother what happened, her mother--wise woman, she!--takes Chloe and their dog on a walk to Adrian's place. At first, Chloe feels vindicated because the house and yard are small and in no way is it ...more
Holly Mueller
Thank you, Tanny McGregor, for tweeting about this one. Oh my - didn't expect to get teary at this one, but that ending... This is an important book to share with children. Poverty and financial struggles are something we don't often think about when we think of diversity, but with more and more children experiencing it, to leave it out of our repertoire of windows and mirrors in our classroom and school libraries, we are missing an opportunity. Chloe transforms, thanks to her wonderful and ...more
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Much is left unsaid in Adrian Simcox Does Not Have a Horse, which is why I love it. Not only is there an honest lesson on empathy and kindness here, but the lesson itself is unraveled as the characters interact. Clues are given along the way, both in the ink-and-watercolor illustrations and the dialogue; attuned young readers will enjoy collecting scraps for why and how. It's a picture book ripe for teaching inference. Highly recommended for grades 2-5.
Vikki VanSickle
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very spare and effective story about acceptance and understanding the root of people's behaviour. The narrator is deeply frustrated by her classmate, Adrian- he's messy, he's irritating, and he lies- specifically about having a horse. There is a subtle message here about poverty and class, but it in no way feels didactic. The illustrations are earthy and gorgeously rendered, particularly the doublespread in which the narrator can "see" Adrian's horse, built from shadow, space, and plants.
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horseby Marcy Campbell is an absolutely stunning story that allows young people to consider ideas like class, poverty, and imagination. This one is due out in August, and I suspect it will be well-loved by readers. ...more
Jillian Heise
This is beautiful and stunning and can start an important conversation about assumptions and kindness and empathy.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved the story and its ending!
Incredibly illustrated story about kindness, understanding, and the immense lengths one goes to truly believe.
Apr 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This book has left me with mixed feelings since I requested and read it a couple of months ago.
Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse evoked a lot of emotion. A child's imagination is often a tremendously beautiful thing. I loved the illustrations. I was emotionally moved.
There's this other feeling that won't go away, though. I don't think it's ok to lie, and I think it's our job as caretakers and adults to teach children the importance of telling the truth. I've been challenged by this thought
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Adrian Simcox is always talking at school about the horse that he owns. But Chloe knows he is lying, since he lives with his grandfather in a small house in town. There is no room there for a horse. She also knows that Adrian’s family isn’t wealthy and a horse costs a lot of money to keep. So Chloe complains to her friends, her mother and eventually to the entire class about Adrian lying. When Chloe’s mother takes her to Adrian’s house, Chloe knows she is going to be proven right. But she doesn’ ...more
Love the conversations that this book will cause. One to add to your “builds empathy” list.
43.1 million Americans (as of 2016) live below the poverty line. Adrian Simcox represents one of those kids while Chloe represents too many peers. But what made this book for me was Chloe’s transformation. It wasn’t Adrian who needed to change! Adrian is a wonderful kid that too many people judge based on his circumstances when really it is all about who he is, and I am so thankful for Chloe finding the
Jen Betton
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Beautiful images and a beautiful story. This is my favorite "be kind to kids at school" story, and I love that it is all from the perspective of the girl who is unkind. Chloe is extremely irritated with Adrian Simcox - she KNOWS he does not have a horse because he is too poor, and she calls him a liar in front of other kids. But with a little direction from her mom, and a little time with Adrian, she comes to realize he has an incredible imagination. Seeing her anger change to acceptance is ...more
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As the description says, "Adrian Simcox tells anyone who will listen that he has a horse--the best and most beautiful horse anywhere. But Chloe does NOT believe him. Adrian Simcox lives in a tiny house. Where would he keep a horse? He has holes in his shoes. How would he pay for a horse?"

This simple story about kindness, friendship, and seeing the world in a different way reminded me a lot of one of my all-time favorites, The Hundred Dresses. ("A hundred dresses...all lined up in my closet.")
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
I've grown somewhat weary of books championing the messages of Empathy! Compassion! Kindness! Not that I find any of those ideas bad. The problem is there seems to be an overkill of such fare in the current kids' lit market. However, Adrian Simcox Does Not Have a Horse won over even this curmudgeon's heart. The story is relatable, the illustrations soothing, and the message is clear without delving into the realm of sap.
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Adrain Simcox tells anyone who will listen about his horse, and everyone believes him except Chloe. She challenges Adrian about his horse, because they both live in the city, and Adrain's house is even smaller than the one Chloe lives in. During a walk with her mother they visit Adrain and his grandfather, and Chloe discovers something very special about Adrian Simcox and his horse.
Jenna (Bookiemoji)
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent character driven story that puts us in the mind of a young girl who instantly judges one of her classmates. Through her, we see how one who is not innately empathetic to others learns empathy. It is a beautiful, thought provoking read and gave me chills by the end. Highly recommended!
Kelli Gleiner
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
A sweet book, 3.5 stars. Beautiful artwork.
I like that the girl was able to recognize that her words were hurtful, and that she didn’t want to continue to hurt Adrian. Not 100% in love with the book, but can’t put my finger on any major flaws.
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-buy
This gets my vote for this year’s Caldecott winner. What a beautiful story with even more beautiful illustrations.
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Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse 2 5 Aug 18, 2019 04:53AM  

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