Book Review: Hot on the Range

Parents and educators understand the importance of teaching problem solving skills to children.  Sometimes it can be difficult to sit back and watch children fumble through mistakes to learn the best path; however, through real-world experiences the process becomes more meaningful. 


By demonstrating problem solving skills, we guide our children to make informed decisions and determine the best choice.  Children’s books make great tools to help teach our children this process and with the aid of Hot on the Range, problem solving and decision making skills are modeled to young children. 


In Hot on the Range, a young horse discovers the best way too cool himself on a hot summer day in Texas.  Through a series of events, Chester learns that sometimes the best way to do something for one isn’t always the best solution for another.  As he fumbles through his mistakes, he eventually uncovers the solution to his problem with the help of his master.  Through trial and error and patience, Chester discovers the best solution to his problem.


Typically in juvenile fiction, the elements of fantasy and humor teach lessons to young readers.  The author, R.D. Jentsch, uses real animal behavior and instincts to teach problem solving to her audience.  When reading this story, young readers will learn how a horse survives the Texas heat as well as understanding the decision-making process.   


Since my girls (ages 7 and 4) love horses, they were instantly drawn to the story.  David C. Bryant’s beautiful water color illustrations held their attention.  Parents and educators will appreciate its simple lesson on problem solving and trial and error. 


Hot on the Range is available at Amazon or you can visit  R. D. Jentsch’s second book, Froggy and Friends Go to the Creek, is due to be released on August 29, 2009.


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