Read of the Week

A Little Horse Called Pancakes

Candice Noakes-Dobson

Burnet Media

Review: Lauren O’Connor-May

Books written for fundraising are normally very touch-and-go but A Little Horse Called Pancakes is a refreshing exception.

Most of the written-for-charity books I have come across so far fall short because the storyline suffers as the charity tries to squeeze all its important messages into the book.

A Little Horse Called Pancakes does, however, manage to sustain a cute, engaging storyline while still bringing positive messages across.

The children’s book is the first of a planned series. Pancakes is a miniature horse with self-confidence issues.

He is taken under the wing of Annabel, who shows readers a thing or two about pet care with her loving, above the call of duty care of Pancakes.

The story achieves its aim by promoting kindness to animals while never diverting into a boring sermon but the book also has a secondary message, one which is close to the heart of the South African Riding for the Disabled Association (SARDA).

With Annabel’s tender help, Pancakes overcomes his self-confidence shortcomings.

Sarda’s cause is similar – the organisation uses horse riding as therapy for children with disabilities and thereby helping them to build self-esteem.

Sarda, which will receive the proceeds from the sale of the book, also gets a mention in the story.

“The Sarda children were so strong and confident as they performed their routines,” the book’s narrator says. “It didn’t matter that they needed help to walk, because when they were on the horses they were free to run with the wind.”

My only disappointment with the book is that every second page is black and white, which means I will have a tough time stopping my children from reaching for the crayons whenever the book is read. Children’s book publishers please, don’t print the pictures in black and white.