Fritz and the Beautiful Horses

by Jan Brett

Hardcover, 1981



Call number




Houghton Mifflin (1981), Edition: 1st, 32 pages


Fritz, a pony excluded from the group of beautiful horses within the walled city, becomes a hero when he rescues the children of the city.

User reviews

LibraryThing member kshielee
The horses thoughts and feelings are expressed in this book so it is fantasy. The conflict arises in this book when the children are trapped on one side of a crumbling bridge with the parents on the other side. The problem is how to get the children to their parents because their horses will not
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get in the river because they are too pretty. The resolution comes when Fritz crosses the river to bring the children safely back to their parents on the other side of the bridge.
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LibraryThing member SunnySD
Alternately overlooked and mocked for his short legs, tangled mane, and whiskery face, poor Fritz longs to be one of the honored few horses who carry the cities children. Unfortunately, only the beautiful horses are permitted within the city walls, so Fritz can only gaze wistfully from a distance.
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But when a bridge gives way with the children on the wrong side and none of the elegant horses are sure-footed enough to carry the children safely across the rocky ford, Fritz saves the day and earns himself a spot in the city folks' hearts.

Absolutely lovely illustrations and a charming story to accompany them.
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LibraryThing member Randalea
This is Jan Brett’s first published work. The huge brick wall of the city and the surrounding river are not the only things that separate the outcast pony, Fritz, from a life of acceptance on the inside. His bravery, diligence, and love for children are the keys to the kingdom.
LibraryThing member JohannaJ
Fritz, the dependable sure footed pony, saves the day and is allowed to be apart of the city that only accepts beautiful horses. I think the moral is a little backwards, but Jan Brett's heart is in the right place. I love the artwork.
LibraryThing member KylieNelson
In a walled city where only the most beautiful horses were kept, Fritz a sure-footed pony was made to keep out, though fritz dreamed of carrying a child he was not beautiful enough. Though in the climax of the story Fritz proves beauty is only a shallow characteristic and he becomes valued by the
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towns people for being kind, gentle, courageous, and sure-footed. This is one of my favorite stories growing up, and will occasionally still read it, because it helped me understand beauty is only skin-deep and there are other characteristics to obtain that are more important to ones character. I recommend this book to everyone, but specifically children ages of 4-10 years old.
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LibraryThing member MelindaBoland
In a city known for it's beautiful horses, Fritz is an outcast. He is not beautiful, but he is also not fussy and doesn't leap and prance when ridden. When the city's children need help crossing the river, the pretty horses are too scared and Fritz comes to the rescue.
LibraryThing member Sarah.Lew
I enjoyed this book because I have always liked horses, but this one was especially fun. I loved the illustrations which is part of the reason I picked the book up in the first place, and I really appreciate the fact that its main point is that we should not underestimate someone who looks
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different than us. This book is appropriate for kindergarten through third grade.
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LibraryThing member Whisper1
I am a person who cannot draw a straight line even when using a ruler. Al the more reason why I appreciate the artistry of Jan Brett and her wonderfully illustrated books. Jan Brett is a prodigious author. Writing and illustrating is quite a natural process for her. As a small child she loved to
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pretend she could enter the world created in illustrated books she read. Now, as an adult, she travels to various places throughout the world and uses these special travels as a springboard for her ideas.

Fritz and the Beautiful Horses was her first illustrated book, and the ideas emanated from Salzburg, Austria.
Currently she has written more than 30 uniquely illustrated books. Each installment is eye candy, beautiful, luscious images leap from the pages. I always feel as though I am diving into a large pool of wonderment whenever I take the time to sit back and let the illustrations weave their magic.

I've read most of her books, and Fritz and the Beautiful Horses is my favorite. I'm drawn to this book, not only because I love carousel art, but I'm told that one of the things hardest to draw is a horse. If that is true, than Brett gets and A plus for her abilities.

In this tale, Fritz lives outside the walled in city. Inside the tall walls are lovely, beautiful horses. Decorated with intricatel trappings, Fritz stands by in awe whenever he sees the horses prance while holding a lovely lady on their back.

One day the horses must cross a body of water. Unable to do so because they are filled with fear, Fritz comes to the rescue. The moral of the story is that Fritz held inner qualities more valuable than all the gold on the stallions saddles.
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LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Fritz was a shaggy-maned pony who had a gentle and kind temperament, a sure and steady foot, and a hard-working disposition. Unfortunately for him, he lived outside a walled city whose citizens valued beauty and elegance in their equine companions, to the detriment of all else. Lonely for
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companionship, Fritz was especially attracted to human children, whom he dreamed of carrying. When the adults and children of a riding party became separated after a breaking bridge trapped the youngsters on the far side of a river, Fritz stepped in and saved the day, safely carrying the children to their parents, thereby winning the love and admiration of all...

Originally published in 1981, and then reprinted in this 2016 edition, Fritz and the Beautiful Horses is one of the prolific Jan Brett's earliest picture-books. Although lacking her distinctive border-work - apparently that was to come later in her artistic development - the illustrations here are beautiful, with shaggy Fritz being particularly winsome. I continue to feel, as I have done with other Brett books, that she is a stronger artist when depicting animals, than she is when depicting human figures - somehow their faces are never quite right - but the overall effect here was nevertheless quite charming. The story, moreover, is perhaps one of my favorites thus far, of all the Brett titles I have read. Fritz is such an endearing, sympathetic little pony, that the reader will root for him, and find his eventual triumph quite satisfying. Recommended to all Jan Brett fans, and to anyone looking for picture-books featuring horses and ponies.
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LibraryThing member Equestrienne
This is a lovely book for children and a charming tale for adults as well; I bought it years before I had a child. This story tells the true secret of horses; handsome is as handsome does. Those of us who have spent many years working with horses understand the true beauty of a homely equine with
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intelligence, patience and a kindly heart. I now have a young daughter who I have given this book to, and it is one of her favorites. She is starting riding lessons this summer and I am shopping for ponies. When I look into their eyes the question I always ask myself is: "Is this pony a Fritz?".
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Original language


Original publication date



039530850X / 9780395308509


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