Merrylegs was not the fastest, most beautiful or the most glamorous. He was clumpy and dumpy; the safe little horse to help the children learn to ride – and they love him. But Merrylegs wants more and his longing becomes even stronger after he sees the glorious horses on the fairground carousel. Could his wishes come true?
Here Pam Smy turns her talents to the picture book with its very specific demands. The result is a charming and engaging story about dreams, wishes and that sprinkle of magic. As one would expect from this publisher the production values are outstanding – the font is perfectly placed on each page accessible and inviting. This is the frame for Smy’s artwork. Her style with its subtle retro references brings a real solidity to her characters. Merrylegs is a flesh-and-blood horse, while the magic carousel horse is clearly made of wood. The palette is cleverly limited, strong aquamarines, luminous creams set against the clear, uncluttered white pages enhancing the strength and density of the images. However, this does not mean that they are static. The horses move across the pages flowing from one spread to another, galloping, flying, following the dream. The storytelling is assured, gently rhythmical, uncluttered, a pleasure to read, the ideal partner for the illustrations. As in the best picture books here the two elements work seamlessly together. The result is a lovely story to share whether as a cosy shared moment or at a Storytime.