Examiner.com Reviews "Finnegan and Fox: The Ten-Foot Cop"
Examiner.com (Feb 2013)
“Finnegan and Fox: The Ten-Foot Cop” is written by Helen L. Wilbur and illustrated by John Manders. It’s about a New York cop and his partner, a horse named Finnegan.
The story includes information about how a police horse is trained, but it’s also about one day in the life of a police horse and his human partner. Included in the people the partners meet during the course of the day are a guy with his fruit and vegetable cart, a society lady walking her dog, an attractive policewoman directing traffic, and a coffee seller.
There are also many tourists who want to pet Finnegan and ask questions about him. Some are native New Yorkers who have never seen a horse and others are visitors from near and far.
When one of the tourists, a young girl named Maggie, goes missing, Finnegan and Fox are on the job. Finnegan is the hero who finds the missing child, and the news travels fast. He is amply rewarded with an apple from Hassan, the fruit and veggie seller.
The colorful illustrations deserve a comment or two. John Manders worked hard to get the human character just right. On his blog, Manders says, “I had a difficult time getting this character to look just right.”
At first, the sketch showed a police officer who looked too silly. But when Manders cleverly asked the editors what actor they pictured as Fox, it made drawing the policeman much easier. Notice how the figures in the foreground are bold and bright, but the colors fade to pastels in the background.
There is also an informational page at the end about mounted police, how they are trained, and qualifications for becoming a mounted police officer.
This is a great book for classrooms learning about community helpers or how animals help us.