Transitioning readers enamored with horses will be happy to immerse themselves in the third title of the Bramble and Maggie series, in which Maggie and her horse learn to cope with real and imagined fears. … Haas keeps descriptive language succinct while integrating entertaining dialogue. Friend’s gouache illustrations ably depict Bramble’s expressions of alarm and stubborn persistence, humorously extending the text. This well-crafted horse story explores the themes of friendship and facing fears for those getting ready to move on from early readers.
Children needn’t be horse lovers to enjoy this gentle story in which each character overcomes fears with a little help from her friend. Fans of the Bramble and Maggie series will love getting to know another side of these lovable characters. As warm, affectionate, and amusing as the story, Friend’s gouache illustrations have a charm all their own. An original Halloween story for newly independent readers or for reading aloud to younger children.
Clear, lively prose and soft, expressive gouache illustrations combine for a Halloween friendship story.
—The Horn Book
Maggie and her horse, Bramble, are back in another beginning chapter book. … Softly colored gouache illustrations illuminate expressions and follow the action from a variety of perspectives and have appropriate visual clues and generous white space for younger readers. Dialogue, Maggie’s occasional reflections, and a bit of onomatopoeia allow the narrative text to flow nicely as a trusting relationship develops between horse and rider. A solid addition for general purchase.
—School Library Journal
With pictures on every page, the book is highly accessible to newer readers but also offers somewhat of a challenge with length and vocabulary. The duo is appealing and the plot is engaging because of the humor and adventure.
—Reading Today Online