Hello, Horse


How do you approach a horse? Why do you have to be so careful of your fingers when you feed a horse carrots? We meet Catherine’s horse, Shannon- ‘Hello, Horse’. 

Though Shannon seems very big, she’s actually quite small. How do we know? Why do horses need to be groomed every day? How should they be groomed? Do you think you might ride Shannon? What preparations are needed?

Using her own experience of meeting Shannon, Vivian French has created an informative, satisfying picture book. Catherine, award-winning illustrator Catherine Rayner, Shannon’s owner, offers the pictures. The combination of gentle text, summoning a growing connection, interspersed with factual anecdotes, and Catherine Rayner’s warm mottled pictures, is delightful.


Hello, Horse

Vivian French, illustrated by Catherine Rayner

(Walker Books)

‘Hello, Horse‘- Shannon, Catherine’s horse, has someone new to meet. How do you meet a horse? They’re very big, aren’t they? How do you measure a horse? Can they see like us, hear like us?
We encounter Catherine’s horse, Shannon, along with our main character. We learn about what she likes to eat, what her mouth feels like, and how to approach her- ‘Hello, Horse’! Did you know that horse’s hooves are the same construction as our fingernails?
Could you ride a horse? We join a first ride, watching as Catherine applies the saddle and bridle and rigs Shannon up in preparation.
Writer Vivian French of The Steam Whistle Theatre Company recounts her own experience of meeting Shannon,  the illustrator’s horse. We’ve long enjoyed the award-winning animal picture books of Catherine Fisher, such as Harris Finds His Feet and Solomon Crocodile. Now we’re part of a non-fiction, writer/illlustrator conversation in a truly special picture book. There is so much to learn, appreciate and love.


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