by Sharon Hart Addy
Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002
In the town of Dusty Gulch, not much is fixing to happen. But then Zeb wishes up a horse.
When he tells his ma, she thinks he’s fibbing. He starts to say, “I wish you’d believe me,” and a wild-eyed palomino appears in her boardinghouse kitchen. It neighs and snorts and tears the door off its hinges on its way out.
In the wake of Zeb’s wishes, horses take over the small town. A chestnut mare completely discombobulates Mrs. Vander Snooty as she steps off the stagecoach, and a pinto creates havoc in Mr. Goody’s General Store. But Zeb can’t stop wishing.
Will Zeb save the town from all these horse-wishes? Boldly and hilariously illustrated, When Wishes Were Horses will tickle the funny bone of every cowboy and cowgirl.
From Kirkus: “…Sneed’s watercolor illustrations recall the early American west; exaggerated facial expressions and horses running amok perfectly convey the chaos… This cautionary tale, humorously told and illustrated, gets its message across gently and without didacticism.”
From School Library Journal: “…This amusing twist on the traditional granted-wish-that-gets-out-of-control motif is greatly enhanced by Sneed’s watercolor illustrations of lean and lanky people, an Old West town, and a spirited collection of multicolored mustangs…”
From Booklist: “…This is a good choice for reading aloud and for using as a springboard for discussions of folk sayings such as, “If wishes were horses, beggars might ride.””
Awards and Honors
- Council of Wisconsin Writers Picture Books Award—honorable mention