Everything But The Horse

Everything but the Horse, A childhood Memory by Holly Hobbie

Everything but the HorseWhen Holly Hobbie was a young girl, her family lived in a city neighborhood packed with children, pets, and grown-ups.  The houses were close together.  Holly Hobbie’s family lived on the third floor of one of the buildings.  She loved living there.

Then one day, her parents bought an old farm out in the country.  It was a little run-down, but the family would fix it up.  Holly Hobbie did not like it.  In fact, she was frightened by many things there, like a fierce rooster, some cats who could not be petted, and a spooky outhouse.

However, things changed, and:

“Pretty soon, though, I fell in love with the woods and fields, with wildflowers and birds and country smells.  And the biggest excitement of my new life, the best part, was raising animals.”

The family had a dog, some friendly cats, ducks, geese, chickens, a pig, and a cow.  But, they didn’t have a horse.  Several families nearby had horses, and would ride past Holly Hobbie’s family farm.  Holly Hobbie visited the horses in their pastures and became friendly with them.  She thought her family’s farm had everything needed for a horse – pasture, barn with stalls, hay, even bridles and harnesses.  She thought about horses all of the time, scattered horse droppings in one of the stalls (so it would smell like a horse), and drew detailed pictures of horses.

“We had everything anybody needed to have a horse, and a horse was the one and only thing I wanted more than anything in the world.”

But, everyone in her family had reasons for not getting a horse.

On her birthday, Holly Hobbie’s mother told her to go look in the barn for a special present.  She ran out to the barn, hoping to see a horse.  Instead, she found a brand new, red, two-wheeler bike with a leather seat, and Columbia written on the crossbar.  She took her new bike out for a ride.

“And I flew down Middlebury Road, pumping with all my might.  I flew!

‘I’ll call you Beauty,’ I shouted into the rushing air.  ‘Holly’s Beauty.'”

This is a sweet story of childhood, with beautiful illustrations.  Somehow, the reader is not upset that Holly Hobbie is given a bike rather than a horse – and it seems that the author was happy with the bike, as well.

Holly Hobbie has worked as an artist for more than thirty years (remember the Holly Hobbie greeting cards and dolls in the late 1960s and 1970s?) and is the author of the Toot & Puddle picture books, and the Fanny & Annabelle books.




  1. Stacie Theis on June 20, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Stopping by from the Kid Lit Blog Hop. Thank you for sharing this wonderful book. I loved Holly Hobbie when I was little and had almost forgotten about her. I even had Holly Hobbie bed sheets. Your post conjured up fond childhood memories and I plan to share this book with my daughter.

    • bookwormbear on June 21, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      Thanks for stopping by! I had a Holly Hobbie pillow, and saved several greeting cards because I liked the pictures. I hope you and your daughter enjoy the book.

  2. Julie Grasso on June 20, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Oh we loved Holly Hobby as kids. Thank you so much for bringing this sweet book to our attention. Oh I am just tripping down memory lane now, lol, thanks for linking in to the Kid Lit Blog Hop. Cheers Julie Grasso (Hostess)

    • bookwormbear on June 21, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      Thanks so much for hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop, and for stopping by! Holly Hobbie was part of my childhood, too.

  3. Jacqueline @ Deeprootsathome.com on June 20, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    A very endearing story 🙂 thank you!

    • bookwormbear on June 21, 2013 at 4:26 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Bookworm Bear! It is a sweet story. 🙂

  4. Nicole Hewitt on June 21, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Thanks for highlighting this book! My daughter loves horses and I’m sure this book would thrill her! I’m hopping by via the Kid Lit Hop!

    • bookwormbear on June 21, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      Thanks for stopping by from the Kid Lit Blog Hop! I hope your daughter likes the book!

  5. Kriss MacDonald on June 21, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    This looks lovely. My daughter has become horse mad but I’m planning to buy her a bike too! Found you on the Kid Lit Blog Hop.

  6. bookwormbear on June 21, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Thanks for stopping by from the Kid Lit Blog Hop! Funny that you’re planning on buying a bike, just as Holly Hobbie’s parents did. 🙂 If your daughter is ready for beginning reader books, you might look for Bramble and Maggie, or Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa books. Keeker books are for those ready to move beyond beginning reader books. And, the Big Apple Barn series (Happy’s Big Plan) is good for young chapter book readers. All of these are stories about horses and their girls. 🙂

  7. Katie @ Youth Literature Reviews on June 25, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    This looks great! I love Holly Hobbie.
    Thanks for sharing with the Kid Lit Blog Hop!

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