cover image The Mare on the Hill

The Mare on the Hill

Thomas Locker. Dial Books, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-0207-3

Locker, a painter whose works are gallery exhibits and prized by collectors, presents a beautiful successor to his acclaimed first book, Where the River Begins. Here he tells a solid story, in a minimum of well-chosen words, about young brothers and the wild mare they ache to befriend. The marvelous white horse flies away from Jake and Aaron, to the top of a hill where she stays, fiercely free, condescending only in the bleakest winter to accept food the boys leave. When they find the mare and her foal in their barn later, it is a glorious moment. Each event is printed on the reader's mind by Locker's ineffable paintings of the matchless terrain of the Hudson River Valley. The artist's rich colors emphasize changes wrought by the four seasons in the country, largely undisturbed by ""progress,'' where people live in harmony with nature. (All ages)