Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse

illus. by Corinna Luyken. 40p. Dial. Aug. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780735230378.
K-Gr 2—Chloe just wants the truth to come out about daydreamer Adrian Simcox and his tall tale of having a horse. He tells everyone at school about his beautiful pet and its white coat, golden mane, and gorgeous brown eyes, but Chloe knows it's all lies. You can't keep a horse in town, and besides, Adrian gets free lunch and has holes in his shoes. When Chloe's Mom has finally had enough of her daughter's indignation, she takes the child to visit Adrian's part of town, where Chloe learns that going along with a fantasy isn't so bad. While this tale offers a moral, it's not preachy; instead, debut author Campbell has penned a gentle, enjoyable story about accepting your friends as you find them. The story finds its perfect accompaniment in Luyken's The Book of Mistakes with this book's muted, fall-tone ink, colored pencil, and watercolor illustrations of Chloe and Adrian's school and homes, the town's beautiful foliage, and, of course, the beloved horse that's brought to life by the children's imaginations.
VERDICT This warm tale and its exquisite illustrations is well worth a purchase.

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