Ranger. The Kaimanawa Stallion by Kelly Wilson, Illus. Jenny Cooper
Ranger. The Kaimanawa Stallion by Kelly Wilson, Illus. Jenny Cooper. Pub. Puffin Books, 2016.
Ranger is a unique Kaimanawa stallion. He fought his way to the top by age 6 years and commanded a herd of his own until a fateful day when his life changed for ever and he was rounded up in a cull of the Kaimanawa horses.
He was a fortunate horse as he impressed the Wilson sisters Kelly, Vicki and Amanda who tamed him with their impressive ways and had him competing in equestrian events 150 days later. He was even ridden by the great Mark Todd.
Kelly Wilson tells the story from Rangers point of view from his capture by helicopter muster which must have frightened the living daylights out of him and takes the reader through the task of getting him to trust the girls.
Simply and beautifully told but some writers can get really lucky and this came in the shape of experienced illustrator Jenny Cooper. Her heart felt illustrations are perfect. One double page spread has Ranger inquisitively eyeballing one of the Wilson girls and you can tell a rapport has begun.
A history of Ranger and the Kaimanawa herd is told in the back of this superb picture book. Horse lovers will get into this story as will younger readers from primary through to junior secondary.