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By Jackie French

Illustrated by Peter Bray

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Horace is a very big horse with an even bigger heart. Every day he pulls the baker’s cart and helps Old William, Big Bill and Young Billy take bread, buns and other doughy delights to all the people in the town. But when a terrible flu makes everyone sick, who is going to deliver the bread to hungry families?

Based on a true story

Written by Jackie French and based on a true story told to her by her grandmother, Horace the Baker’s Horse captures a time when horses were part of everyday life. Set in 1919 during the Spanish influenza epidemic, it tells the story of how, when the baker and his family are struck down by illness, Horace sets off on his well-trodden round to deliver bread to the townsfolk all by himself.

Jackie French is one of Australia’s best-loved authors. She is the Australian National Children’s Laureate for 2014–2015 and Senior Australian of the Year for 2015. She has written more than 140 books, won more than 60 national and international awards and her books have been translated into 36 languages.

What our readers think

Our favourite of all the terrific books reviewed here, in a rare unanimous decision.′ Stephen Romei, The Australian

The country characters come alive to the touch in this delicious rhyming bake-off.′ Australian Women’s Weekly

Jackie French’s instinct for a good story is patently evident in Horace.′ Jane Smith, Magpies: Talking about Books for Children

Once again Jackie French has given us a heartwarming story from years gone by, and Peter Bray’s gentle illustrations bring those years to life.′ Merle Morcom, Good Reading magazine.

Publication details

ISBN 978 1 921953 25 5. Hardback, 280 x 225 mm (landscape), 32 pages, full colour.
National Museum of Australia Press, 2015

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