Thursday, May 4, 2017

Fabish the horse that braved a bushfire by Neridah McMullin ilustrated by Andrew McLean

Fabish the horse that braved a bushfire has been short listed for our 2017 CBCA awards.  It is in the section for Non Fiction called the Eve Pownall Award.

This book is a true story and so I would have liked to read more about this remarkable horse.  The setting for this story is explained on the final page :

"The Black Saturday bushfires occurred in Victoria on the 7th of February, 2009. The series of fires burning across the state became a firestorm, causing destruction that rivalled that of an atomic bomb. It resulted in Australia's highest ever loss of life from bushfire."

Fabish has finished his racing career and is now living in a paddock with seven yearlings.  "The youngsters were a wild bunch. With their tails up high, they pranced and tossed their heads, and sped around the paddock."  The summer is an especially hot one and one afternoon Fabish smells smoke. The trainer opens the gates and Fabish and the yearlings gallop away.  Meanwhile the trainer gathers the precious racehorses into the stables.  He works hard to keep the fire away and keep the horses calm. In the morning he steps outside to confront the devastation. Surely Fabish and the yearlings didn't stand a chance. "Yet he thought he heard something."

The illustrations in this book are perfect. You can almost smell the charcoal blackened trees and every horse lover with appreciate Andrew McLean's skill.

Neridah McMullin read about Fabish.  I found this article in Thorough Bred News.  Here is an item about other brave horse called Jeune Mark.

Here are a set of teaching ideas.

Bushfires are a harsh reality in Australia.  Here are a selection of books we will read on this topic.

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