Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Itty & Bitty: Two Miniature Horses

Since I was a little girl, I have had a love of horses. My only experiences back then were the pony rides at the German fests we attended. Then, after college, when I was living here in Austin the last time, my parents give me a month of riding lessons - English saddle, hunter/jumper - at a local stable for my birthday. I look lessons, as an adult beginner, for about a year and a half before I moved to Arkansas. For whatever reasons, I wasn't able to continue with lessons. However, I made a friend through the singles group at my church who also had an interest and background in horses. Hers was much more extensive than mine, and she no longer rides regularly (I think she cut back a lot after a broken collar bone...), but she does have a sister who makes a living working with horses and riders. One weekend, we drove down to Benton, just outside Little Rock, where her sister lived and worked. I got to ride, and even jump a little, that day.

The first birthday I had after earning my M.Ed., my friend - who knew I was trying to build up a classroom library for my future classroom - sent me a couple of horsey picture books. The first is Itty & Bitty: Two Miniature Horses by Nancy Carpenter Czerw and illustrated by Dana Bauer. The book, recommended for children 5 to 8, is full of cute little rhymes about the two title characters, Itty & Bitty, who are actually real, live, horses living at Steele Away Farm in Argyle, Texas:

I'm Itty. I'm Bitty.
We're itty, bitty minis-
Pint-size, just the right size
For itty, bitty kiddies.

Although the two are both miniature horses:

Bitty is a ragamuffin-
Unkempt mane and too much stuffin'
Itty is a little vain.
Each day he combs his tail and mane.

They play and dance jigs and ride in cars, all told with the help of Ms. Bauer's sweet watercolor illustrations.

There's not a lot of text to this book - it is more of an illustrated poem. But, for anyone with little kids and an interest in horses, this book is perfect.

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