'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 25 February 2018

Review: Fabish the Horse that Braved a Bushfire

Bushfires are the terror of our dry Australian summers. The price of survival in extreme conditions is to abandon the land.

But what happens to the livestock?

On 7 February 2009, the Black Saturday bushfires decimated Victoria's countryside.

Fabish, a retired race horse was watching over his assigned yearlings in a paddock far from the stables on that day.

The yearlings were skittish, the temperatures soared and blustery winds heralded disaster when Alan, their trainer opened the paddock gates and urged Fabish to flee.

Alan returned to the stables and battled to protect the prize horses in a exhausting overnight struggle.

But what about Fabish and his skittish yearlings? Did he manage to keep them together? Did they die a gruesome death?

Fabish, the true story of two heroes, is filled with heartbreak and hope.

I still feel emotional as I imagine Fabish softly neighing to settle his skittish charges. To this day, no one knows how he managed to keep them safe.

It's no wonder that Neridah McMullen's spare prose embodying Fabish and Alan's Black Saturday battles, combined with Andrew McLean's stunning illustrations, reached the 2017 CBCA Children's Book of the Year shortlist.

Title: Fabish The Horse that Braved a Bushfire
Author: Neridah McMullen
Illustrator:  Andrew McLean
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $24.99
Publication Date: 27 July 2016
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780925266863
For ages: 5 years +
Type: Picture Book