cover image Bonny's Big Day

Bonny's Big Day

James Herriot. St. Martin's Press, $13 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-312-01000-3

Old John Skipton tends his two aging cart horses well, even though they've been replaced by a tractor. He shows up at the Darrowby Fair with his grey horse, Bonny, as an entry in the Family Pets Class of showings. Both John and Bonny are dressed up and polished for the occasion, standing in line with other unusual pets and their owners: a pink piglet, a turtle, a nanny goat and a hooded falcon. But the winner is John's Bonny. Herriot, the all-seeing veterinarian, inspires his simple message of sensitivity and compassion by showing how much his characters love and care for their animals. The dimensions of thoughtful humor are as evident in this story as in all his writings. Brown's accompanying paintings add a necessary context, depicting, for example, the piglet's owner as a farm boy, the rabbit's as a sweet-faced little girl and the falcon's as a stately country gentleman. BOMC selection. All ages. (October)