'Black Beauty' by Anna Sewell was my favourite childhood book and probably still is today!
By the age of 7/8 I could recite the whole first page and I had multiple editions. I was also obsessed with the TV series, especially the beginning credits and even today have the 'galloping home' music as my ringtone 🎼🖤
I believe what started it all was when I was 4 years old I had the rare treat of being brought by my Mam to the cinema to see the movie 'The Black Stallion'.
It's still ingrained in my memory.. the heavy velvet curtains, the usher, the gigantic screen..
As a world weary adult that movie still has the beauty to move my soul and for an imaginative, sensitive 4 year old girl it was a revelation. I was immersed and awestruck.
As a subsequence I became obsessed with horses and particularly those of a black variety, so a book about a black horse was always going to top of my agenda!
Reading back on its content as an adult brings a wonderful nostalgia but I also realise the effect it had on my thinking as a child and how it has stayed with me even today.
It was dark and gritty in parts, sad, heartbreaking, but ultimately beautiful.
What really gripped me though was that it was told from the perspective of the horse.
It was as if I had learnt the most wonderful secret, something I'd always suspected myself, that animals are no different to us inside, they had feelings, even emphathy, they just looked a little different 😊
I believe this book was a big part in forming my thinking about animals and animal welfare and about the natural world around me.
The words still echo into my adult life, how I am with my own animals, how I feel about adopting/rescuing, and regardless of physical differences, that we are all part of this world's big diverse family.
We cannot underestimate the value and importance of the content of books and films for our children. They are little sponges waiting to to drink in whatever available resources are around them.
Choose wisely what they learn, for children grow into adults and they may change the world 💚💚🐾🐴