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  • Writer's pictureSandy

Lucy and Copper, by Mandy Foot

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

This beautifully heartfelt story celebrates the special bond between children and animals, and tells a story of learning to adjust to change.

Lucy is devoted to her beloved pony Smudge, but is now too big to ride him. When her father brings a new horse called Copper home to the farm, Lucy doesn't feel ready to let Copper into her heart. Her loyalty is firmly with her childhood pet - but will she find room in her heart for Copper too?

The narrative gently unfolds, as Lucy reflects on the wonderful times she had riding Smudge as a small child, and slowly comes to understand that she can still remain devoted to Smudge while allowing Copper into her heart too. Young readers will learn that it can feel hard to let go and that it's okay to feel sad, but that it is also possible to move through the sadness and open our hearts to embrace new things.

Copper isn't in the greatest condition when he arrives at the farm - with Lucy commenting that he looks too bony compared to Smudge. This gently alerts us to the fact that Copper may have come from a draught-ravaged area, and suffered some hardship. Lucy's Pa encourages Lucy to understand that Copper needs her care and friendship, a beautiful way to teach young readers about empathy and kindness.

I loved the tender moments depicted between father and daughter, as Lucy's Pa allows her the space to come to terms with the changes that are occurring, and offers gentle support and encouragement when needed.

The text is reflective and poetic, perfect for emerging readers to attempt on their own, or with a carer. The emotive illustrations beautifully reflect and

enhance the narrative. The landscapes seem to shimmer with early morning light, and the final exuberant page reflects joy and hope.

This book illuminates the depth of the bond that children and animals can share, and would make a wonderful gift for any animal-loving child.

We were gifted this book as part of the Hachette Kids Readalong, but opinions expressed are our own.

Published by Hachette Kids Australia



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