Illustrated by Erin Stead
A Neal Porter Book, Roaring Brook Press, 2017
From the dust jacket, “Tony was all white, large, sturdy, with wide gentle eyes and a ton of love.”
Tony is a poem by the late Ed Galing (1917-2013) and is possibly told from memory. It tells of Tony, a large white horse who pulls the milkman’s wagon in the early morning. One reviewer called it “a love letter to a horse” and I would say that is most accurate. The poet reveres Tony as one might revere a cherished leader (like John F. Kennedy). He tells of how he gets out of bed every morning at 3:00 am just to go down and say hello to Tony. And of Tony doing a little dance for the poet as the large horse pulls the wagon away.
A beautifully quiet book, the illustrations are in pencil on backgrounds of soft green, yellow and white. Very understated yet powerful. For your kittens who need calming down before bedtime, Tony is the perfect book to read to them. The words and illustrations will have a calming effect on most listeners. And horse-lovers will be enthralled.
Rating 5 of 5 paws because we love a beautiful book.