In the first of a new series that includes some of the characters from the author’s Mercy Watson series, the focus is on Leroy Ninker. Leroy is a small man with big dreams of becoming a cowboy. He has all he needs—a hat, boots, a lasso—excepting he has no horse. A friend shows him an advertisement: “Horse for sale….Old but good. Very exceptionally cheap.” Leroy adopts Maybelline, a horse with a quirky personality, and they embark on a new friendship. The b&w illustrations are humorous, expressive, and lively with each character, even the horse, given a unique appeal. The font is smaller than Mercy Watson’s font, with more than a dozen lines of text per page, making this a next-step-up from DiCamillo’s popular pig books. The ending is predictably sweet. Children will enjoy reading about these charming friends.
Kathy L. Haug, Retired