A Horse Named Jack

Cover: A Horse Named Jack

2018 Nominee Annie Karcher Best in Rhyme Top 20!

Jack is a rather silly horse. And when bored, he takes it upon himself to unlatch his stall and go for an adventure through the farm before escaping into the neighbor's garden for a snack. This rhyming story counts up to ten as Jack makes his way across the farm and then back down as he races home with the neighbor hot on his heels.



  • Dewey: [E]
  • Graphics: Full-color illustrations
  • Hardcover (9781585363957): 32 pages, 11 (w) x 9 (h), © 2018, 04/15/2018
  • PDF (9781534123021): 32 pages, 11 (w) x 9 (h), © 2018, 04/15/2018
  • Hosted ebook (9781534123199): 32 pages, 11 (w) x 9 (h), © 2018, 04/15/2018
  • Subject: Language Arts


  • Suggested Interest Level: Age 0-4 - Age 7
  • Suggested Reading Level: Grade 1
  • Lexile® Measure: 500
  • Guided Reading Level: I
  • Accelerated Reader® Quiz: Pending

BISAC Subjects


  • Annie Karcher Best in Rhyme Top 20!, Nominated, 2018


Booklist - A Horse Named Jack

Jack, a bored horse living on a farm, has learned how to open the gate to his stall. Looking for entertainment, he sets himself free, kicking off a counting adventure. From 1 soft click of the lock, nature and farm elements such as 3 roosters, 5 kittens, 7 spiders, and 9 apples shape Jack’s journey from 1 to 10, and then from 10 back to 1 with items such as 10 tomatoes, 8 dogs, and 6 songbirds. (And that’s not all: Jack counts frogs, bumblebees, logs, puddles, carrots, and cherries, too.) The bouncy, humorous rhyming text and frequent sound words invite audience participation, while gentle, brightly colored cartoon-style illustrations add to the fun. Returning home, Jack is glad to see that children have arrived to play with him. However, after getting dirty from his many encounters, the highest priority is for Jack to have a bath.

Jack’s exploits should win over plenty of friends as part of a farm-themed or math storytime.

Kirkus Reviews - A Horse Named Jack

A friendly horse ventures beyond the farmyard. Jack, a big, dapple-gray draft horse, loves it when the neighborhood kids come visit him on the farm. One day the kids don’t show up, and Jack gets bored fast. “So Jack performs his favorite trick— / He lifts his latch with one soft click.” And with that Jack trots through the farm and down the road, getting into some mild mischief in the neighbor’s garden before dashing back to his yard. Once safely home, Jack is greeted by the neighborhood kids (who were just running late). The story is narrated in rhyming couplets that count up to 10 and down again, each number printed in boldface type (along with sound effects). Brown’s illustrations are softly colored with primary hues and gently sketched, making for dynamic and engrossing scenes. Little readers enchanted by horses will get a kick out of this title, as Jack fumbles around exploring his environment and interacting with adorable kittens, piglets, and ducklings. The greens, blues, and yellows give the book a welcome springtime feel. The children who visit Jack are a multiracial bunch. A pleasant jaunt. (Picture book. 3-5)


Author: Linda Vander Heyden

Linda Vander Heyden is the author of Mr. McGinty’s Monarchs and A Horse Named Jack. She understand’s Hannah’s obsession with the perfect sandwich—she remembers racing home from high school at lunch hour to make perfect grilled cheese sandwiches before rushing back to class. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two dogs, two cats, and two horses.

Illustrator: Petra Brown

Petra Brown has been a children's book illustrator since 2006 when her first picture book If Big Can...I Can, was shortlisted for the Booktrust Early Years Awards for Best Emerging Illustrator. Since then she has been illustrating for a range of publishers in the United Kingdom and abroad. Petra comments, "I love drawing animals with human expressions. I find it such fun creating, for example, a thoughtful fox, a happy hippo, a shy sheep, or a caring bear! The other thing I like is creating landscapes, places where my characters can run about and have adventures. Living in a magnificent place like Snowdonia helps a great deal." Petra lives with her partner in Wales.