Children's Literature @ NYPL
Booktalking "Will You, Won't You?" by Jessie Haas
Mad is not exactly thrilled to be spending the summer learning how to dance Ceilidhs (pronounced kay-lees) in the Scottish style. However, to her surprise, she finds that dancing is just like riding, in terms of the movement. She loves the geometry of the group dance, and she feels as though she is flying.
The girl imagined that trail-riding with Cloud would be dreamy and drama-free. Unfortunately, some bovines burst that bubble. Her grandmother, aka "The Powerful Chair," had a creative solution for that problem; she agreed to allow Elvirah the cow to cohabitate with her granddaughter's white mare. At first, Cloud's eyes bugged out at the sight of her new bovine companion, but gradually she got over her angst. Mad was triumphant when she was able to guide Cloud past a herd of cows on the trail and gallivant through the countryside like she imagined she would.
Mad does not neglect to keep in touch with her best friend at home, who keeps her informed about what is happening at Cloud's old barn. I love Mad's email user name: "madwoman@..." She and her clique refer to themselves as the "Dressage Queens" at their home barn.
This is the perfect book for me; dancing and riding are my two favorite sports, and I feel that taking dance lessons is like being on a horse. The indecisive title and cover illustration typify my entire life, and the girl is blond to boot! I also did notice the horse hooves in the top right-hand corner on the cover. You can really tell by the vivid description of horse incidents in the book that the author has lived with horses and has had horse experience. The fact that Mad's grandmother "Gam" is a politician is awesome; the book helped me learn more about political life.