cover image The Hand-Me-Down Horse

The Hand-Me-Down Horse

Marion Hess Pomeranc. Albert Whitman & Company, $15.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-8075-3141-9

In her first children's book, Pomeranc carefully tailors to her young audience a post-Holocaust tale that ends happily for a Jewish boy and his family. Launching the story after the war has ended, the author avoids the horrifying details of the Holocaust, instead noting more generally that after the Solomons left their home in Germany they had ""fled from village to village, living in forests and on farms, always seeking safety, food and shelter but finding danger and destruction instead."" Now they are living in a one-room apartment in an unnamed location, waiting for their chance to board a ""Liberty ship"" that will take them to New York. A wooden rocking horse left behind by an American-bound child helps David pass the time and gives him hope that his turn to begin a new life will eventually arrive. Yardley's (The Bracelet) spare, pastel-hued watercolor and pen-and-ink art favors sunny depictions of David and his surroundings, reinforcing the reassuring, upbeat messages of the narrative. Ages 7-10. (Sept.)