Saturday, September 1, 2018

A Horse Named Steve by Kelly Collier

- Steve Is Now An EXCEPTIONAL Horse. Just Ask Him -



Steve is a fine horse, but one with aspirations of being more than fine. He longs to be EXCEPTIONAL. Some horses wear ribbons, but Steve-the-fine-horse does not.  That's because he is Fine. Not Exceptional.

But one day something special happens as he's walking through the forest. There, lying on the ground is a beautiful gold horn. Forget silly ribbons, this is something rare and special. Humorously, Steve manages to strap the horn to his head, He then prances off to show his friends. 

Steve's self-confidence shines as he tells his friends how fancy and amazing he is. In fact, his attitude verges on over-the-top prideful and rude. 
"... so I just saw it and thought, Steve, you could really DO something with this, and I'm so glad I did, because I'm an EXCEPTIONAL horse now. Bob, you should really find a horn, too. Because you're looking kind of ordinary . . . "
In copycat fashion, his friends end up with decorations on their head. But Bob notices something.
"But Steve," says Bob. "I don't see a beautiful GOLD HORN on you head. You are NOT EXCEPTIONAL!"
Steve is shocked, Where is his beautiful decoration? (The reader sees it has twisted down from his head to under his chin.) Steve searches high and low for his horn. What comes next from Steve?
"Whaaaaa."
Steve deals with the loss by crying and thrashing on the ground. He is devastated. Eventually, boo-hooing causes him to need a drink. At the pond, he sees a reflection of the horn. No good can come from Steve creeping deeper and deeper into the pond trying to find the beautiful horn. Splash! Steve is now drenched and hornless. As he looks out from the middle of the pond he sees his friends standing on the shore. They all have things strapped to their head. Steve has nothing. But at that time a new thought occurs to him.
"All of you look exceptional," says Steve, "but I just realized that I look exceptionally different!"
His friends are now impressed with Steve's look, claiming they love the natural look and that he's so stylish.

My Thoughts


What Concerned Me: This is a book, like so many, that is totally open to interpretation. While some may think this story promotes outward importance and beauty, I feel the opposite. To me, it almost ridicules it. But no matter which way you think, it definitely promotes discussions.

What I Liked Most: This is a wonderful book to draw out conversations about what makes a person exceptional.
  1. Are we all unique and exceptional in our own way? 
  2. Does following the latest fad cause us to be extraordinary? 
  3. Was Steve extraordinary without the horn?
  4. Was Steve acting as a good friend should?

I loved the simple artwork which was rendered in ink and watercolor and finished in Photoshop.

4 STARS
Author/Illustrator: Kelly Collier
Publisher: Kids Can Press (2017)


  • Approx. Word Count: 417
  • Age: 5 - 6
  • Pages: 32
  • Purchase

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