Best Children's Books About Horses

52 Children's Books About Horses

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse book
#1
Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse
Written by Marcy Campbell and illustrated by Corinna Luyken
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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.

Spirit Riding Free: The Adventure Begins book
#2
Spirit Riding Free: The Adventure Begins
Written by Suzanne Selfors
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Twelve-year-old Lucky Prescott craves adventure, but as a young lady of society she's only been allowed to experience adventure through books. That is, until one fateful day when Lucky, her father, and her aunt leave their neat-and-tidy city life and travel to their new home out west-the Wild West. At first Lucky is excited, but during the long train ride to her new hometown of Miradero, she begins to worry. What if she doesn't make any new friends? Everyone in the West rides horses, but she's never been allowed to even sit on one. How can she possibly fit in? Anxious about the future, Lucky looks out the train window and sees a majestic wild stallion. When their eyes meet, she senses a connection. But when the stallion is caught by wranglers, Lucky's heart breaks. And when she next sees the stallion, he's tied to a post, refusing to be "broken in." Spirit Riding Free: The Adventure Begins is the story of a girl and a wild horse, equally out of place in a strange, new world, but equally fierce and brave. With each other to lean on, will these two free spirits be able to find a home together? DreamWorks Spirit Riding Free © 2017 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Pony in the City book
#3
Pony in the City
Written and illustrated by Wendy Wahman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Otis wants to know about the kids who ride at his stables. Do they sleep in stalls? Do they also get brushed and braided? The older ponies ignore his questions, so Otis heads to the city to see for himself. And he finds answers, but he gets lost, too . . . until some of his favorite friends come to the rescue. Kids will relate to this sweet story about an adorable, inquisitive little pony.

Black Beauty book
#4
Black Beauty
Written by Anna Sewell and illustrated by Ruth Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Discover the magic of Anna Sewell'sBlack Beautyin this picture book, retold and stunningly illustrated by Ruth Brown for the very youngest of horse lovers. Black Beauty's story improved the lives of horses all over the world. Seen through his own eyes, young horse lovers will be swept up in his incredible journey from a peaceful paddock to the streets of London. No matter what he encounters, nothing can break Black Beauty's spirit. 'A real treat for young horse-lovers' Irish Times

Hello, Horse book
#5
Hello, Horse
Written by Vivian French and illustrated by Catherine Rayner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A little boy isn’t sure if he likes horses, but his friend Catherine assures him that her horse will like him. Shannon is very big, but she’s beautiful, throwing her head up and looking at him with her dark eyes as if she knows everything there is to know. Catherine patiently teaches the boy how to talk to a horse quietly, how to feed her carrots, how to lead her across a field, even how to blow at her softly to show that he likes her. But is he really ready to climb up on Shannon’s back and take a ride? Facts about horses are sprinkled throughout to satisfy inquisitive readers.

Fritz and the Beautiful Horses book
#6
Fritz and the Beautiful Horses
Written and illustrated by Jan Brett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Fritz was not beautiful. He didn’t have a braided mane or a glossy coat. He couldn’t prance with long, graceful strides like the elegant horses who carried lords and lovely ladies to the city—a city that allowed only the most beautiful horses within its walls. The citizens laughed at the short-legged pony’s attempts to be like their own horses. But Fritz was dependable and hard-working. He proved to the citizens that there are things more important than being beautiful. He earned a special place for himself in the walled city just as he’ll earn a special place in every reader’s heart. Jan Brett’s full-color artwork sparkles in intricate detail across every page of this exceptional picture book about Fritz, a sure-footed pony who finally gets the chance to shine in his own best way.

Decorated Horses book
#7
Decorated Horses
Written by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent and illustrated by Jeannie Brett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

This nonfiction picture book about horses has a fresh focus: how people over the ages have decorated horses in special ways. Organized into three categories—warfare and hunting, performance and competition, performance, and ceremony—the book introduces horses such as the chariot-pulling war horse of the Persians to the rose-decorated winner of the Kentucky Derby.

Yokki and the Parno Gry book
#8
Yokki and the Parno Gry
Written by Katharine Quarmby, Richard O'Neill and illustrated by Marieke Nelissen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-9

When a Traveller family experiences a run of bad luck, an imaginative boy called Yokki lifts their spirits with tales of a magical white horse. A traditional Traveller-family folk tale which inspires hope and celebrates creativity. Told by a Romani storyteller together with a picture book author to positively reflect Travelling cultures.

Do You Believe in Unicorns? book
#9
Do You Believe in Unicorns?
Written and illustrated by Bethanie Deeney Murguia
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Is that a horse wearing a hat? It’s definitely not a unicorn in disguise— that would be ridiculous, right? It’s probably just a horse that’s having a bad hair day. Or trying to keep the sun out of its eyes. Or perhaps this horse just really likes hats! If you follow it long enough, maybe it will take off its hat and you’ll finally know for sure. Or will you? It’s all a matter of perspective in this cheerful, cheeky story about seeing magic in the everyday.

The Sky Phantom book
#10
The Sky Phantom
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Nancy goes to Excello Flying School in the Midwest to take lessons, while her friends Bess and George perfect their horseback riding. But soon the young sleuth is confronted with the mystery of a hijacked plane and a missing pilot. Then the rancher’s prize pony, Major, is stolen. Nancy becomes a detective in a plane and on horseback to track down the elusive sky phantom and the horse thief. A lucky find – a medal with a message to be deciphered on it – furnishes a worthwhile clue. Romance is added to mystery when Bess becomes interested in a handsome cowboy. Readers will spur Nancy on as she investigates a strange magnetic cloud, hunts for the horse thief, and finally arrives at a surprising solution.

Madeline in London book
#11
Madeline in London
Written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines the smallest one was Madeline.” Nothing frightens Madeline—not tigers, not even mice. With its endearing, courageous heroine, cheerful humor, and wonderful, whimsical drawings of Paris, the Madeline stories are true classics that continue to charm readers even after 75 years! Pepito has moved to England. To help celebrate his birthday, Miss Clavel and the girls pay him a visit. When his mother won’t let Pepito keep one of his birthday presents–a horse–Madeline is more than willing to help out.

Humpty Dumpty book
#12
Humpty Dumpty
Written and illustrated by Annie Kubler
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Presents an illustrated version of the classic nursery rhyme, with music printed on the back cover. On board pages.

Polonius the Pit Pony book
#13
Polonius the Pit Pony
Written by Richard O'Neill and illustrated by Feronia Parker-Thomas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-9

When Polonius the pit pony escapes from the coal mine he's worked in all his life, he joins a family of Travelers. Although he enjoys the freedom and the fresh air that their lifestyle offers, he wishes he could give something back to the family in return. When the chance arrives for him to do something to help, he rises to the challenge, and uses his intelligence and skills to save the day. Based on true events and retold by a master of the oral tradition, this story bears witness to the Traveler values of independence, initiative, courage and hard work.

The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse book
#14
The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Every child has an artist inside them, and this vibrant picture book from Eric Carle will help let it out. The artist in this book paints the world as he sees it, just like a child. There’s a red crocodile, an orange elephant, a purple fox and a polka-dotted donkey. More than anything, there’s imagination. Filled with some of the most magnificently colorful animals of Eric Carle’s career, this tribute to the creative life celebrates the power of art.

Emma and Starfire book
#15
Emma and Starfire
Written by Lauren Marie and illustrated by Jenna Leigh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Emma is a girl with one dream: to have a horse of her own. Her dream seems out of reach, and she only has an unwilling cow to ride. At school, Jane, who rides racehorses, bullies Emma about not being worthy enough to ride a horse. That night, Emma gazes at the sky and wonders why Jane is so mean. A white light streaks across the sky. The magical Duchess of the Stars appears and entrusts Emma with Starfire, a buckskin colt--the offspring of the Star Horses who rule the stars and the sun. With Starfire by her side, Emma gains the confidence to stand up to her bully.

Steeds of the Gods book
#16
Steeds of the Gods
Written by Lucy Coats and illustrated by Brett Bean
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Demon is getting used to his role as the official Beast Keeper to the gods on Mount Olympus. The gods are getting used to him, too--until Helios and Poseidon decide to involve him in a feud! The two gods are planning a race to see which of their steeds are the fastest. Both vengeful gods have requested Demon's help, but he can choose only one.

Tales of Sasha 10: A Mystery Message book
#17
Tales of Sasha 10: A Mystery Message
Written by Alexa Pearl and illustrated by Paco Sordo
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

In book ten of the Tales of Sasha series, Sasha must solve a riddle to discover the contents of a special message! When flying horses from the Royal Guard arrive in Crystal Cove to deliver a message for Sasha, she can't imagine what it could be! But in order to open it, Sasha must first solve a riddle, which requires her to find the petals of rare and different colored flowers. Will Sasha be able to solve the puzzle to reveal what the mystery message is all about?

Tales of Sasha 9: The Disappearing History book
#18
Tales of Sasha 9: The Disappearing History
Written by Alexa Pearl and illustrated by Paco Sordo
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

In book nine of the Tales of Sasha series, Sasha has to figure out what to do when the recorded history of the flying horses disappears! The History Day celebration is coming up in Crystal Cove, and Sasha has to pick her favorite story to read aloud. But when she unrolls the magical fabrics with the flying horse history on them, she discovers that all the words have disappeared! Can Sasha figure out what happened and find a way to return the stories to the fabrics in time for the celebration?

Hermes and the Horse with Wings book
#19
Hermes and the Horse with Wings
Written by Tracey West and illustrated by Craig Phillips, Tracey West
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Zeus and the Olympians are tasked with finding a magical horse in this Heroes in Training adventure. When Zeus meets a young boy named Hermes, he claims to have their next quest from Pythia, the Oracle at Delphi. But he wants something for the information: Zeus must hand over the winged sandals he took from Perseus after their last battle. What he doesn’t know is that Perseus had stolen those sandals from someone…Hermes! Could those sandals be another magical object? When Hermes starts to fly, Zeus knows they have found another Olympian for their group—and Hermes lets Zeus know their next adventure will be to “find the force that sings.” Since Pythia never tells them exactly the right words (her glasses tend to get a little foggy), they figure out that they are supposed to find “the horse with wings.” With the help of a reluctant Hermes and another new boy named Ron, the Olympians are off in search of a winged horse­—with a few surprises along the way!

The Sea Pony book
#20
The Sea Pony
Written by Paula Harrison and illustrated by Sophy Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Grace works to save her beloved sea ponies from the evil Lady Cavendish in this sixth book in the adorable Secret Rescuers series. Grace loves the beautiful sea ponies that live in the warm, clear waters around her village. So when she finds out that cruel Lady Cavendish is sailing out to catch the ponies, Grace needs her new friends, Maya and Sophy, to help her save them. But will their rescue plan work? And will Grace ever be able to talk to her favorite sea pony?

Tales of Sasha 8: Showtime! book
#21
Tales of Sasha 8: Showtime!
Written by Alexa Pearl and illustrated by Paco Sordo
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

In book eight of the Tales of Sasha series, Sasha throws a party for the horses of Verdant Valley and Crystal Cove! The King and Queen have put Sasha in charge of planning a Summer Solstice celebration for the horses of Verdant Valley and Crystal Cove! Sasha has never planned a big party before, and there are so many details! Will she find a way to pull this party off?

Wings for Wyatt book
#22
Wings for Wyatt
Written by Alexa Pearl and illustrated by Paco Sordo
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

In book 6 of the Tales of Sasha series, Sasha and Wyatt try to find a way to get Wyatt to the Island of Royal Flying Horses. Sasha's better-than-best friend Wyatt wants to come along once he finds out about her trip to visit the island where royal flying horses live. But the island is far away and Wyatt can't fly. Can Sasha come up with a way to take Wyatt with her?

The Chicks in the Barn book
#23
The Chicks in the Barn
Written by Aly Fronis and illustrated by Jannie Ho
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Get ready to make some animal noises in this fun, farmyard-themed twist on the classic nursery rhyme "The Wheels on the Bus"! The chicks in the barn go cheep cheep cheep, cheep cheep cheep, cheep cheep cheep. The chicks in the barn go cheep cheep cheep, all through the farm. The farm sure is a noisy place! It's filled with cheeping chicks, oinking pigs, neighing horses, bleating sheep, mooing cows, hooting owls, and sqeaking mice! Little ones will love this springtime twist on the song "The Wheels on the Bus"!

Tales of Sasha 7: The Royal Island book
#24
Tales of Sasha 7: The Royal Island
Written by Alexa Pearl and illustrated by Paco Sordo
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

In book seven of the Tales of Sasha series, Sasha, Wyatt, and Kimani travel to the royal island of flying horses! Sasha, Kimani, and Wyatt are flying to the island of royal flying horses where the King and Queen are waiting to meet Sasha! The journey is going well until a powerful storm forces them to take shelter on a small island until the next morning. But the King and Queen have to leave the royal island in a few hours, and the trio is off course and without their map! Will Sasha find a way to get to the island before the King and Queen leave?

Spirit Riding Free book
#25
Spirit Riding Free
Written by Suzanne Selfors
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The second exciting installment in the new adventure series! Lucky Prescott and Spirit, the wild stallion, have an unbreakable bond. Along with their new best friends, Abigail and Pru, Lucky and Spirit set off on daring adventures, push their limits, and discover what it means to be truly free. DreamWorks Spirit Riding Free © 2017 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.