The Water Horse

This delightful book offers a plausible and magical explanation for the infamous Loch Ness Sea monster. Set in 1930’s Scotland, a young girl (Kirstie) finds what looks to be a “mermaid’s purse” along the shore. Thinking it to be a living sea-thing, she brings it home, plunks it in her bathtub, and wakens the next morning to find an amazing, hungry little creature happily swimming. Kirstie’s grandfather recognizes the creature as a water horse, and the family takes on the challenge of raising their very own sea monster.

Considering the water horse (sometimes referred to as kelpie) are large scale water monsters (potential growth up to 60 feet), Crusoe quickly outgrows the tub, the outdoor goldfish pond, and eventually the lochan, resulting in his big move to the great loch. Though before they move him, the family trains him to cleverly stay hidden from public view.

The story is charming – an all around perfect family read. The characters are entertaining, and Crusoe is as cute as any new puppy – a far cry from the reputation kelpies have in Scottish folktales. It’s a good thing Water horses are only a myth, as after reading this tale, young children are certain to want one of their own! Walden media has adapted The Water Horse to the big screen – which ought to be a great family movie as well.

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