Reviews of Children's Books written by
Frances Dinkins Strong

Review of Pat, the Cat
Reviews of Beth's Fella
Reviews of A Lucky Pair
Review of Sally and Grandma


Review of Pat, the Cat - Billie Jean, a grandparent (Nashville, TN)
  My grandson loves this rhythmic book. He says, "It's OK, Pat," when the cat is forgiven for accidentally breaking the flower pot. He is a little boy who darts around and accidentally breaks things sometimes too. He laughs when Pat hides under the blanket while his tail is easily seen. I enjoy the book with him.

Order now!     Return to homepage


Review of Beth's Fella - Cindy Oldham, Author of Kaleidoscope Memories (Kissimmee, FL USA)
  This is a delightful, charming memoir that Ms. Strong has written. Beth's Fella is a beautiful coming-of-age story that follows the life of a girl and her best friend, a beautiful horse. It details how the girl dealt with her life as her sight began to fade more and more as she reached adulthood and had a family.
  This book is written in an easy-to-read style that lets you feel like you intimately know the family. The characters are well developed and pull you right into the action of the story. You come to love these people and cheer Beth on as she meets every challenge with strength and spirit.
  The illustrations by Kay Payne help to move the story along as you vision the different happenings in Beth's life.
  Beth's Fella is a book young people will enjoy reading. It teaches about horses and those that love them. It also helps children learn how to deal with disabilities. Thank you, Ms. Strong for sharing your story with us. This book will be on many shelves as a keeper for a long time.

Review of Beth's Fella - Caroline Cook, parent (NC)
  Children enjoy learning about what life was really like on a farm in the 1950's through the 1980's. The author's website also has details about farm life in the previous decades and suggestions for the best ways to use this book. Children also learn what it was like to have an eye condition which slowly robs the main character of her eyesight (retinitis pigmentosa).
  The story is autobiographical covering 33 years of her life. That is how long the horse she raised lived. The author doesn't dwell on the handicap. Instead the reader enjoys her adventures, learns some history, and is inspired by an optimistic person who has a strong faith in God.

Order now!       Return to homepage       Top of Page


Review of A Lucky Pair - Betsie, the owner of Betsie's Literary Page.
  Rediscovering emotional sources of mystery and enchantment.
Rating: Highly Recommended
  The Hamilton's are looking to purchase a tame enough horse for their nine-year old daughter Amy, when they come across a malnourished horse that is up for sale. Even so after a test ride, he seems to move pretty good, is very quiet and has a great temperament, traces of an equine star. Mr. Hamilton feels he would make a great horse for Amy and by the next day they return to pick him up.
  Once home, Amy names him Lucky. It turns out Amy has tunnel vision, can barely see in the light of day and later Lucky goes blind in his right eye. The two build a bond of ever-lasting friendship, one depending on the other.
  This is absolutely a delightful tale that reminded me much of the classic movie "The Black Stallion," and much like the movie A Lucky Pair achieves a magical atmosphere that children, as well as adults will enjoy.
  Positively one book which will make a wonderful addition to any child's library. Lesson plans are included on the author's website.

Review of A Lucky Pair - Addie Cusimano, MEd Educational Therapist-Reading Specialist
Achieve Publications.
  A Lucky Pair, told by the horse itself, is the delightful story of the relationship between a young girl who is visually impaired and an old Tennessee walking horse. After rescuing this bedraggled old horse from its harsh owner, young Amy (with her loving care) brings the bedraggled horse back to a healthy condition. This touching story emphasizes how caring for others can be a two-way street. For, as Amy cares for Lucky and Lucky demonstrates his concern for Amy, immeasurable joy is obtained by both. A Lucky Pair is a wonderfully heartwarming book that teaches children what is involved in caring for a horse as well as the benefits of a joint relationship of two handicapped creatures. In addition, this book offers an excellent source for parents and teachers to use for expanding a child’s reading and word meaning knowledge. It is a treasure for every classroom.

Review of A Lucky Pair - Lynn Hogan, homeschooling veteran of 12+ years, free lance writer, editor of the Homeschooler's Notebook
  This is a moving story that is PERFECT for students who (a) love horses, (b) have compassion for the physically challenged, (c) feel "different," or (d) are learning how to read chapter books. The plot is interesting and it is the kind of book that a youngster would WANT to read. The story goes from page to page drawing the reader into relationship with each of the characters. The chapters are long enough to give the reader a sense of accomplishment from reading chapter books but short enough to make them want to read the next chapter! PS. The artwork is delightful and hand drawn by Mattie Dinkins Roscoe.

Review of A Lucky Pair - Diane Dean White, author and site owner Seeds of Encouragement.
  A LUCKY PAIR will capture your heart as a parent and it will literally speak to the minds of children. The close friendship between Amy (who has tunnel vision) and the older horse (who needs her love) is heartwarming. It is also instructional. As a parent and grandparent, I think this book shares what many do not: the reality that some children have handicaps such as Amy who is visually impaired. Other children can relate to her problem as they too may be dealing with a handicap. ALL children should be aware of the sensitivity of this book and what it teaches about those with special needs.
  This is a wonderful book for a gift. The print, words, and illustrations make it an excellent learning tool, and something that I can read to my grandchildren, and perhaps ask questions regarding the chapters as we go along.
  Frances Dinkins Strong has captured some wonderful feelings that young children can easily relate to with their own pets. Lucky speaks and shares his thoughts as a Tennessee walking horse! What fun for children to realize pets have feelings too. The illustrator Mattie Dinkins Roscoe has portrayed the beauty of this relationship in her colorful sketches as well. I know this book will be a favorite that many children will enjoy over the years.

Order now!       Return to homepage       Top of Page


Review of Sally and Grandma - Laurie David, special education teacher
  This story is one of compassion and kindness. Learning to adapt to life's challenges and accept individual differences remains a theme throughout.

Order now!       Return to homepage       Top of Page