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Rosie's Magic Horse

Russell Hoban, Quentin Blake (Illustrator)


List Price: 15.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


If an ice-pop stick can dream of being a horse, what magic might follow? A fanciful tale by Russell Hoban, mischievously illustrated by Quentin Blake.

Once its icy sweetness is gone, a discarded ice-pop stick is lonely until young Rosie comes by and lays it in a cigar box with others like it. But this stick wants to be something! Meanwhile, just before bed, Rosie sees her parents worrying over their bills. That night, wishes intertwine when Rosie dreams of a horse named Stickerino galloping out of the cigar box. “Where to?” he asks. “Anywhere with treasure!” says Rosie. A girl and a horse galloping over cities, jungles, and an icepop mountain leads up to a clever heist of a gold-filled pirate chest — and a happy ending at home — in this wildly imaginative adventure.

Praise For Rosie's Magic Horse

Blake collaborated with Hoban on the Whitbread-winning How Tom Beat Captain Najork and other titles, and his ink-and-watercolor drawings are as antic as ever. Rosie's house is cozy and lived-in, with old drawings on the wall, and toys and books crowding her dresser. The pirate scenes are crammed with cheerful chaos, and the light, weightlessness, and long horizons of Stickerino's flight make the impossible seem close. Hoban's books asked big questions, and the answers were sometimes murky and mournful, but this last one is a happy farewell salute.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Blake’s sprightly, quirky signature ink-and-watercolor illustrations vibrate with playfulness and humor as they transport Rosie and Stickerino from their mundane urban world across color-washed pages to a rainbow-hued ice-pop mountain populated with rascally pirates, hilariously tickled into submission by empowered ice-pop sticks.

Hoban makes use of magical realism to create a story in which the ordinary and the extraordinary exist side by side...Blake’s beguiling art has life and movement on every page and invites children to believe that they, too, are on a magical journey where anything can happen.
—School Library Journal

Sheer exuberance prevails in ROSIE'S MAGIC HORSE, a delightful picture book, published posthumously, by Russell Hoban. Quentin Blake, best known for his contemporary illustrations of Roald Dahl’s work, is a fine choice to complement Hoban’s witty and original prose. His doodled ink-and-watercolor illustrations, rich with humor and whimsy, recall the work of William Steig.
—The New York Times online

[W]onderfully bizarre. ... It’s a magical, truly quirky adventure, one in which the rules need not apply...
—Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

There is all manner of exuberant illustration and eccentric storytelling in ROSIE'S MAGIC HORSE.
—The Wall Street Journal

Candlewick, 9780763664008, 40pp.

Publication Date: February 26, 2013

About the Author

Russell Hoban (1925–2011) once described himself as “an addict to writing” and wrote more than fifty books for children, including such classics as Bedtime for Frances, How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired Sportsmen, and The Sea-Thing Child. He was also the author of many acclaimed novels for adults, including Turtle Diary and Riddley Walker.

Quentin Blake was the very first British Children’s Laureate. He has won numerous awards for his books and is best-known for his work with Roald Dahl. His books with Candlewick include Michael Rosen’s Sad Book and Bananas in My Ears, both by Michael Rosen, and On Angel Wings by Michael Morpurgo. Quentin Blake lives in London.