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Rosenburg Riding Stables is receiving a new addition. When a famous French jockey wants to board his prize gelding, Elfin Dance, at the stable, horse-crazy Antonia is overcome with joy and excitement. Antonia immediately forms a deep connection with Elfin Dance, but no one else at the stable can get near him; he bucks them, runs away, and is generally cranky around anyone but Antonia. But while Antonia is fully capable of looking after Elfin Dance, will the famous Frenchman allow an eleven-year-old girl to care for his prize horse? When the jockey turns up unexpectedly to check on his Elfin Dance after a particularly heavy storm, will everything come unraveled with the horse’s training, or can Antonia save the day?
A friendship between girl and horse beautifully told by Elisabeth Zöller and Brigitte Kolloch, featuring color illustrations by Betina Gotzen-Beek, Antonia, the Horse Whisperer highlights a classic first love for many girls and sets the stage for a new horse series for young readers.
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Elisabeth Zöller is a prolific German author who has been writing for over two decades. Prior to her writing career, Zöller had spent seventeen years at various high schools working with children and young adults. Zöller has written nearly one hundred books, which includes her contributions to journals, anthologies, and a number of successful children’s books. She lives in Münster, Germany.
Brigitte Kolloch is a German children’s author. While today Kolloch works as a pediatric nurse in a preterm intensive care unit, she also continues to write new stories and poems for children. Her first book was published in 2003, and since then she has worked on a wide range of topics ranging from fairies to eating disorders. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Hanover, Germany.
Betina Gotzen-Beek is a German illustrator who has been working on children’s book illustrations since the mid-1990s. She currently lives in Germany.
A gifted horse whisperer, 11-year-old Antonia has grown up on Rosenburg Farm, where her family has lived since 1758. No sooner does her best friend arrive for a visit than the vet delivers bad news: Antonia’s injured horse, Snow White, will never be able to jump again. Soon three exceptional horses are boarded at the farm, and Antonia befriends her favorite, Elfin Dance. When he falls ill and his trainer is injured, both Snow White and Antonia play pivotal roles in his recovery. Girls who love horses will find plenty to enjoy here, from the sympathetic human and equine characters to the unusual setting. Gotzen-Beek’s lively illustrations, reproduced in color, add visual interest to the well-paced story. Though Zöller is a prolific German writer for children, this appears to be her first book available in English in North America. Originally published in Germany, this chapter book is the first volume of the Rosenburg Riding Stables series. Grades 3-5. --Carolyn Phelan
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