The Gift is a warm, touching, and edifying book for children written by Rebecca J. Hubbard and illustrated by Krickett King. The story centres on Pip, a young farm girl, whose dad buys her a dream eleventh birthday present – a horse – and her efforts to coax and befriend the horse that she names Buck. The book is split into two parallel parts: the first told from Pip’s point of view – a tale of hope then frustration as her earnest attempts to bond with the horse are not met with immediate success; and the second from Buck’s point of view – his tale of arriving in a new place and initially missing his old friends and being frightened by Pip’s advances, before they manage to find a common ground of friendship. The book is complemented by lovely black and white illustrations every few pages.
Rebecca J. Hubbard’s The Gift is a great way to teach children not just about the complexities and subtleties of building friendships, but also the importance of carefully building any relationship with pets and/or animals. I felt quite sorry for both Pip (when she is thwarted in her initial struggles to play with the horse) and Buck (when he is taken from his friends and family and is lonely in his new home, despite being very much wanted) at various points in the story, but was cheered and heartened by hopefulness of the twin endings. Krickett King’s illustrations are both charming and appropriate, and greatly enhance the book. Recommended.
Reviewed By Julia Hopkinson for Readers’ Favorite
"This is a well-written beautifully illustrated book is a wonderful story for any child who loves horses. I wish it had been available for me to read to my children when they were little. The story of the relationship between Pip and the horse that her dad gifts to her is so real. Strong relationships take time and effort- and that is just what Pip must learn to do, with some good advice from her father. One aspect of the story that makes it so special is that it is first told from the young girl Pip's point of view and then it is told from the horse Buck's point of view. This allows the reader to understand the feelings that each of them are experiencing as they work to develop their friendship.
The Gift would also be very helpful for those who work in equine therapy and for any therapist who works with children. It should be on the bookshelf of any professional whose passion is helping children, from teachers to counselors."
A. Nance (taken from Amazon.com)
The Gift by Rebecca Hubbard is a charming children’s book that educates and entertains. It also teaches its readers a thing or two about making friends. Little girl Pip dreams of having a horse as a best friend and is elated when she gets Buck. Thinking that they will become the best of friends immediately, she finds out that she has to gain Buck’s trust before anything else, and this takes time and determination. Beautifully illustrated by Krickett King, the story is first told from Pip’s point of view and then switching to Buck’s, giving readers a glimpse of what is going on in both their minds as they interact. Perfectly written for 4th to 6th graders, The Gift also shows that friendship entails sensitivity and patience, and these are precious lessons that many adults can also learn from.
Reviewed By Maria Beltran for Readers’ Favorite
The Gift is a lovely story for young readers, and delightful in its simplicity. Rebecca J. Hubbard has done a very good job of explaining about friendship, and how one has to work at it and not expect it to happen without a bit of effort on both parts. But this is also a story about loneliness. Starting with Pip’s version, the story then examines the events from the horse’s perspective. This story is about understanding, companionship, patience, and love. Although the story can be likened to human relationships, it’s also about understanding animals and how to gain their trust and love. It’s a good life lesson that friendship and trust have to be earned. Giving the story from both the human aspect and the animal aspect is especially endearing. Apart from the life lessons to be learned, young horse lovers will empathise with this tale. Very nicely done.
Reviewed By Jane Finch for Readers’ Favorite.