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Who Remembers Robert the Rose Horse?

February 14, 2020
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When I was young I loved this book. It was part of a series of Beginner Books created by Theodor Geisel (Dr Seuss) and his wife, Helen Palmer as replacements for boring school readers. Robert the Rose Horse is my anthropomorphic book choice for Valentine’s Day 2020.

As an author I’m inspired by the brilliance of this title and other books in the series, titles such as Are you My Mother? and Sam and the Firefly by the amazing P.D. Eastman and Helen Marion Palmer’s classic A Fish out of Water have stood the test of time and are still loved by young readers and adults.

These titles have exciting plots, easy vocabulary that is presented in large print alongside big, bright illustrations. The stories feature great animal characters overcoming challenges and solving everyday problems, problems that young readers can identify with.

Robert is allergic to roses so he moves to the city and becomes a police horse. He loves his job but needs to be careful. There are also roses in the city. One day Robert redirects his weakness with spectacular results …

Ideas come from all sorts of places. I love hearing authors talk about story sparks leading to the creation of a book, but I didn’t expect the following: Heilbroner says, “I got the idea for Robert the Rose Horse because Fidel Castro was in town,” she recalls, “and there were police horses all over the city. That has nothing to do with my story, but the horses were the trigger.”

Happy Valentine’s Day 2020. I wish you good books and no sneezes.

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