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Adrian Simcox Does Not Have a Horse tests our imagination and privilege

Bedtime Story

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Chloe has just about had it with her classmate, Adrian. He goes on and on and on — to anyone who will listen — about his beautiful horse. According to Adrian, it has a golden mane, big brown eyes, a clean white coat and is perfect in every way. The problem is, there's no way Adrian Simcox has a horse. He gets free lunch and has holes in his shoes. So Chloe calls him out for lying, in front of the entire class.

Adrian Simcox Does not Have a Horse is a picture book that is fantastic for sparking discussions about privilege and introducing the concepts of empathy and hope. As Chloe's mom takes her for an impromptu after-school walk to Adrian's neighborhood, with its tiny houses and unkempt yards, Chloe realizes that what Adrian Simcox does have is boundless optimism and a glorious imagination. Author Marcy Campbell's execution of this tale never gets too heavy-handed, and Washington state artist Corinna Luyken's illustrations are rich with feathery lines and autumnal tones, giving a nice delicacy to a timely and important story.

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