Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Billy and Blaze series

C.W. Anderson (1891-1971) was an author and an artist who loved horses. He created more than 30 children's books about in all, including an 11-book series about a boy names Billy and his horse Blaze.

It all begins with the horse-loving Billy getting his birthday wish: his very own pony. If your children like horses even a little bit they will love these books, because every second page is filled with another illustration of a horse in action. Anderson's sketches are big, and detailed, and beautiful. I don't know a child who hasn't loved to peer at them closely.

Now, I should note I'm not recommending Anderson because of his writing. His stories are very simple, they have next to no tension, and the writing is decidedly average.

But your kids are sure to love the pictures. My oldest daughter loved these books long before she ever knew how to read them, pouring over the pictures again and again.

Billy and Blaze heading out on an adventure.
There are a 11 Billy and Blaze books in all, and that bumps up the value of Anderson's books. What parent, when they find a book their child loves, doesn't wish there were many more in the series? And that's exactly what we have here!

The 11 books are:

Billy and Blaze (1936)
Blaze and the Gypsies (1937)
Blaze and the Forest Fire (1938)
Blaze Finds the Trail (1950)
Blaze and Thunderbolt (1955)
Blaze and the Mountain Lion (1959)
Blaze and the Indian Cave (1964)
Blaze and the Lost Quarry (1966)
Blaze and the Gray Spotted Pony (1968)
Blaze Shows the Way (1969)
Blaze Finds Forgotten Roads (1970)

Each is about 40 to 50 pages long, making it a pretty ideal bedtime story for my 4 and 6-year-old. We've enjoyed each one of these (although we've never read Blaze and the Indian Cave because that's the only one our local library doesn't have).

So, to repeat, these are not great literature, but they are wonderful as picture books. The only downside I can think to this series is that it is likely to feed the "pony-fever" of any horse-loving boy or girl you might have in your house. But...oh well.

If you want to buy any of these books, you can find a link to the 8-book pack at Amazon.com by clicking here. They don't seem to have a package deal in Canada, so here's a link to the first book, Billy and Blaze at Amazon.ca.

No comments:

Post a Comment