Title: Big Wishes for Little Feat
Author: Cheryl Olsten
Illustrator: Paolo d’Altan
Publisher: Fleecydale Press
Genre: Childrens picture book
Book format: Digital
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Description: In the countryside of the Kingdom of Belgium, Little Feat and Ella face unexpected challenges, experience true friendship, and discover what it means to believe.  A magical tale about a young horse and a little girl brought together by their fascination for one special constellation and a lucky shooting star.

*Free copy provided by BooksForward and the publisher for review…

Review:  This is a lovely story with some really beautiful illustrations. Lafitte, a horse, spends his days growing up, enjoying running with the other horses. Lafitte’s legs are shorter than the other horses though, but that only makes him more determined to run faster than the others. As Lafitte grows old enough to be sold as a prize show horse, he wonders who will be his special rider. Meanwhile Ella, a young girl, feels alone in a new country. Can a shooting star help both of them to find what they are looking for?

Big Wishes for Little Feat book page image one
Digital image of double page in book

This is an interesting and lovely story all about Lafitte the horse and Ella a young girl. The story begins with Lafitte, following him as he grows up and waits for someone special to want to ride him. But when all the other horses are picked during the sale, Lafitte is left behind and he’s left wondering if anyone will want to ride him. I loved this first half of the book, following Lafitte who is shorter than all the other horses, and we read conversations he has with some other horses, and see the emotional bond that he’s just waiting to have with that special rider.

Not long after the horse sale, the book switches focus to Ella, a ten year old girl who loves to watch the stars in the sky with her dad. When Ella’s parents fall on hard times she has to move in with her great Aunt Anastasia in Belgium. Flying to a new country she is nervous but she soon settles down and begins to enjoy her aunt’s company. But Ella soon grows lonely, mising her parents, so Aunt Anastasia plans a special trip for her. The two stories, of Ella and Lafitte, soon mix together and the ending is a lovely one although a little shorter than I had hoped.

This is a picture book, which are usually for younger children, but the writing in this one is more in line with books for slightly older children, and indeed there is a lot of text on some pages and in smaller sized print than I’m used to with most picture books. Despite this the tale is a sweet one and is based on a real horse and a real rhyme about wishes. Knowing this made the book feel more special and the whole story is a lovely one. I really enjoyed Lafitte’s story at the start and then later, Ella’s experiences with her Aunt Anastasia who is quite funny as a chracter. But the ending, although very sweet and uplifting, did feel a bit short. I was expecting one more page or one more illustration but that was it. The story does end nicely though and this book does have some really beautiful illustrations.

The pictures are all colourful and look so real. I love the expressions on the characters faces, and I especially love how the horses look. The illustrations really capture the magic of the story and I like how on some pages the pictures frame the writing. The nighttime images with the stars look so brilliant and this book is worth it for the pictures alone. They work well with the story and make you feel the magic more.

Big Wishes for Little Feat book page image two
Digital image of double page in book

Overall this is a lovely book with a fun story of both Ella and Lafitte’s dreams and wishes coming true. It would make a lovely gift for anyone who is especially interested in horses, and has a nice message about believing. However I do think there could have been a bit more at the end, or the book should have been simplified more and turned into a picture book for younger children, as right now it feels like it sits somewhere between a reading book and a picture book.

What do you think of this book?  Do you like horses?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂