Wonder Horse: The True Story of the World’s Smartest Horse

Wonder Horse: The True Story of the World’s Smartest Horse by Emily Arnold McCully is a nominee for the 2012-13 South Carolina Picture Book Award.

This book is a great story to share with students about showing kindness to animals (and, of course, since it revolves around a horse, students will be lining up to check it out). Wonder Horse is about Doc Key, a former slave, who went on to become a well-respected veterinarian. Unlike so many others during that time, he preached about being kind to animals, and he definitely practiced what he preached.

Jim Key was a very special horse. Doc expected him to be a champion racer, but Jim was born with twisted legs and was not expected to live very long. Jim, however, surprised everyone, including Doc. Jim Key showed Doc that he could learn. Jim learned to spell, do basic arithmetic, and even pick out primary colors. He was at his best when in front of a crowd, which came in handy when Doc and Jim took their show on the road.

Doc and Jim Key showed everyone around them a bit about animal intelligence and kindness. Animals–and even people–can do great things with a little encouragement!


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