We have been enjoying Women’s History Month as we have been reading some amazing books on women who are remarkable. In today’s book review, we are keeping up with this theme and introducing you all to Wild Horse Annie, written by Tracey Fern and illustrated by Steven Salerno.
Wild Horse Annie was the nickname of Velma Bronn Johnston (1912-77), who loved mustangs all her life. When she saw these wild horses being rounded up and killed to make room for ranchers’ livestock, she knew she had to speak up. In 1950, she began writing letters to local newspapers and politicians, defending the horses’ right to roam free.
Many people told Annie to hush up, but they couldn’t stop her. She soon became a voice for mustangs throughout the state of Nevada, speaking on their behalf at town halls and meetings.
But that was only one state, and Annie was only one person, and she wanted to do more. So she got children to speak up, too, by having them write letters to federal officials to ask them to save the mustangs. Finally, with the help of her young “pencil brigade,” Annie persuaded Congress to pass laws protecting wild horses and burros on public land nationwide.
Wild Horse Annie was an inspiring and empowering book to read. This was the first time reading about Annie’s story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Annie was a true and early advocate for animal rights and she spoke up for what she believed in. She also empowered a generation of children to voices for the voiceless and that is what we loved the very best.
Annie shows us that even though you are just one person, you can motivate others to create change. One voice became thousands of voices and in turn showed that nothing is impossible.
Nikki loved the book as much as I did and with her love of animals, we think it made her love the book more.
“Annie really helped those beautiful horses live. I love that momma!” – Nikki, Age 4
Wild Horse Annie is a beautiful story filled with courage, love, action and illustrations that look like art pieces. This is why we give this book 6 Mustangs out of 5! We also recommend this book for children ages four to seven (adults would enjoy this book too!). We also suggest to everyone to make sure to read the Author’s Note at the end of the book, as it offers that rich history that us adults will truly appreciate.
About the Author
Tracy Fern is the author of many critically acclaimed picture books, including Barnum’s Bones, Dare the Wind, and W Is for Webster. As a child, Tracey was a member of Wild Horse Annie’s pivotal pencil brigade. She lives with her family in West Newton, Massachusetts. To learn more about Tracy, visit her at www.traceyfern.com.
About the Illustrator
Steven Salerno has illustrated thirty popular picture books including The Fantastic Ferris Wheel: The Story of Inventor George Ferris by Betsy Harvey Kraft, Goldenlocks and the Three Pirates by April Jones Prince, and Tim’s Goodbye, which he also wrote. A graduate of Parsons School of Design, Steven lives and works in New York City. To learn more about Steven, visit his website at stevensalerno.com.
If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.
Until next time…Happy Parenting!
* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.