Jacqui Halpin (text), John Phillips (illus.), Parmesan the Reluctant Racehorse, Little Pink Dog Books, 1 Oct 2017, 38pp., $24.95 (hbk), ISBN 9780994626929
Readers will recognise the fun of make-believe games with this amusing story about Parmesan the horse. He behaves like a dog and thinks he is a dog but his job is to run races, not chase balls and if he doesn’t perform well at the Spring Races his trainer thinks they will be in big trouble. This aspect gives overtones of reality and responsible thinking to what is essentially a tale about being yourself and being allowed to be different to your peers.
Phillips’ line and wash drawings add much to the humour of this book and, coupled with the repeated lines, encourage the acting out of the story’s solution. From a new publisher on the market, a percentage of book sales is donated to support the re-training and re-homing of retired racehorses, a reassuring inclusion for younger readers pondering the prospects for horses who don’t win.
Reviewed by Liz Anelli