Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse Book
Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse Book
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Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse

Written by Marcy Campbell and illustrated by Corinna Luyken

Published by Dial Books for Young Readers


Publisher's Summary

A classic in the making, this heartwarming story about empathy and imagination is one that families will treasure for years to come.

Adrian Simcox tells anyone who will listen that he has a horse--the best and most beautiful horse anywhere.

But Chloe does NOT believe him. Adrian Simcox lives in a tiny house. Where would he keep a horse? He has holes in his shoes. How would he pay for a horse?

The more Adrian talks about his horse, the angrier Chloe gets. But when she calls him out at school and even complains about him to her mom, Chloe doesn't get the vindication she craves. She gets something far more important.

Written with tenderness and poignancy and gorgeously illustrated, this book will show readers that kindness is always rewarding, understanding is sweeter than judgment, and friendship is the best gift one can give.

Topics in Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse


  • Age Range: 3-5
  • Pages: 40
  • Book Type: picture
  • Publication Date: August 14, 2018
  • ISBN: 0735230374
  • ISBN 13: 9780735230378
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The Book Snob Mom
Mom, Avid Reader, Austen Fangirl

This book is just beautiful: the story itself, the message, and of course the illustrations! The way that Adrian Simcox's white horse with the golden mane emerges from the white space, again and again, is amazing and truly captures the power and reality of imagination. Reminiscent of the oft-posed question of which is better—a lie that brings a smile or a truth that brings a tear—this story lands soundly on the side of the beauty of imagination and our power to create our own world.

English Degree, Former SAHM, Grammy Extraordinare

It is a strange fact of human nature that when we know a thing, really know the facts of a thing, we want everyone else to validate the truth of our knowing. Chloe knows that Adrian does not have a horse; it just isn't possible. She is forceful with her knowledge, trying to convince her classmates that what Adrian is telling them is just plain wrong. Then at about the middle of the book, while hanging upside down from the monkey bars, she realizes that she is making Adrian really sad, and all of a sudden, it isn't so much about whether Adrian has a horse. Chloe gets to learn that there are things more important than facts. Three cheers for Chloe's mother who is accepting and not at all judgmental. Her patient example and matter-of-fact manner help Chloe to find what is really important. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful; Corinna Luyken uses the white space masterfully, sometimes filling it up with schoolyard or neighborhood or backyard and at other times leaving plenty of white space for emotion and imagination.

Readerly Mom
Bay Area mother of two, world traveler, book lover, picky reader

Marcy Campbell

Marcy Campbell lives in Ohio with her family and menagerie of rescued pets. Her writing for adults has been published widely in journals and magazines, including Salon. She grew up on a farm filled with cows, chickens, cats, and dogs, but she never had a horse. Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse is her debut picture book.

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Marcy Campbell
Corinna Luyken

Corinna Luyken is the author-illustrator of THE BOOK OF MISTAKES, which received four starred reviews and has been praised by Entertainment Weekly, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, and more.  She also illustrated ADRIAN SIMCOX DOES NOT HAVE A HORSE, written by Marcy Campbell.  And is she the author-illustrator of the forthcoming MY HEART, which will be released January 8, 2019.  She lives in Olympia, WA with her husband, daughter, and two cats.

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Corinna Luyken

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