A Library of the School of EducationDPIUW-Madison School Of EducationUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonUW-Madison LibraryUW-Madison Catalog
About the CCBC
Authors and Illustrators
Recommended Books for Children and Young Adults
CCBC Calendar and Events
CCBC Podcasts
CCBC Publications
Intellectual Freedom

Support the CCBC
Support the CCBC
Are you a...K-12 TeacherLibrarianEarly Childhood Care ProviderUW Student / Faculty

Wonder Horse: The True Story of the World's Smartest Horse

by Emily Arnold McCully

Published by Henry Holt, 2010
32 pages
ISBN: 978-0-8050-8793-2

Ages 5 - 8

In the late nineteenth century, a horse named Jim Key made headlines for his ability to do math, identify colors, read, and spell. Just as astonishing—or unbelievable—to some was that Jim Key had been trained by a Black man. Bill “Doc” Key had a gift for working with animals and his approach had always emphasized kindness over cruelty. Emily Arnold McCully focuses on Doc’s love for animals and the close bond he had with Jim, who’d been born with twisted legs and a playful nature, in this captivating picture book history. Doc and Jim performed at fairs and carnivals and their achievements were met with amazement and appreciation, followed by skepticism. To counter the skeptics and the prejudice they faced, Doc invited a group of Harvard professors to test Jim, and newspapers carried the result of their conclusions: “Jim Key Educated by Kindness.” McCully’s author’s note provides additional background information on Doc and Jim (including a photo of the two) and addresses questions that still remain about how animal intelligence is defined and determined.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

book cover
Book of the Week

In accordance with the UW-Madison Accessibility Policy, this site makes every effort to comply with the World Wide Web standards defined in the Federal Rehabilitation Act Section 508, specifically subsections 1194.22 and subsection 1194.31. If you need additional resources or have any questions or concerns about this site, please contact the site administrator for more information.
UW crest