My Horse of the North (English book cover)

My Horse of the North

Hardcover: Available

Mál og menning / Icelandic Publisher
Click for Icelandic Publisher's Home Page

Bruce's Thirty-eighth Book
US - Scholastic
Hardcover ISBN 0-590-97205-7

Iceland - Mál og menning
Icelandic ISBN 9979-3-1743-4
German ISBN ?
Icelandic / Íslenska
My Horse of the North (Icelandic book cover)
Personal Note
I want to find out about buying an Icelandic sweater

"Dramatic color photos capture stark summer scenery... but the pictures of a girl and her horse are the most appealing."

Christian Science Monitor, Thursday, September 25, 1997, page B6

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>
Personal Note

In 1999 Margrét and her family visited from Island. I took them to their first baseball game, a Portland Sea Dogs (Double AA) game in Portland, Maine. In the seventh inning the announcer proclaimed and the scoreboard read, "Welcome to Iceland's Margrét Vigfúsdóttir, star of Bruce McMillan's My Horse of the North."

In the north patches of ice and small glaciers remain in the hills all summer. As with most of Iceland there are no naturally growing trees. Driftwood washes in across the Arctic Ocean and Norwegian Sea from Siberia. It's often used as fence posts on farms. The area where I photographed this book, Skagafjörður (SKAH gah fyor thur), is known for its farms. Sheep are raised in great numbers for their wool and meat. But this area is especially known for its horse-breeding farms. They raise the small, but strong and hardy, "Icelandic horse" breed. By law, no other breed has been allowed into Iceland for almost 1,000 years.

Back to the top

So you want to buy a handknit Icelandic sweater like the one Margrét wears?
They're reasonably priced (I own five) and they mail them directly from Iceland. Since the sweaters are handknit, each one is unique. I have two sources to email an inquiry. The first is for sweaters made by the knitters on Vestmannaeyjar, the island where I photographed Nights of the Pufflings.

The Gallerí Heimalist
Bárustigur 9
900 Vestmannaeyjar
email an inquiry to Gallerí Heimalist

The Handknitting Association of Iceland
Skólavörðustígur 19
101 Reykjavík
email an inquiry to The Handknititng Assn. of Iceland
Phone: 011-354-552 1890
Fax: 011354-552 1912

Back to the top

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Near the Arctic Circle, Icelandic lambs and ewes feed all summer in the mountains. In the valley below, Margrét and her new horse, Perla, practice for their first réttir. Come fall, if Margrét and Perla are a skilled enough team, they will ride up to the mountains and herd the sheep home to the farms. Will they be ready?

This is a warm story of a young girl, her new horse, and an Icelandic tradition - the annual roundup called réttir.

Back to the top

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

School Library Journal
September 1997 page 204

"The joy of living resonates."

McMillan, Bruce.
My Horse of the North.
photos. by author.
32p. bibliog. CIP.
Scholastic. Sept. 1997. RTE $15.95.
ISBN 0-590-97205-7. LC 9645241.

K-Gr 3 - In another dazzling adventure, McMillan captures the lively tradition of the réttir - the sheep roundup that occurs each September in the farming communities of northern Iceland. He introduces nine-year-old Margrét and her horse, Perla, who practice herding cows and geese all summer long so that they will be able to participate in the fall roundup. Finally, on a cold, wet day, they ride out to bring the sheep down from the mountains. The text flows smoothly, capturing the young girl's activities and also providing informational insights into this way of life. The importance of the sheep for wool is explained and shown through the wonderful sweaters worn by the children. The unique qualities and history of the Icelandic horse are succinctly detailed, and the sturdy, dependable, yet spirited, Perla brings the descriptions to life. Additional information is included at the beginning and end of the book. The full-color photos are spectacular. From breathtaking panoramas to intimate close-ups, the joy of living resonates through these images. This first-rate photo-essay offers young readers an unforgettable glimpse of this country. - Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA

This copyrighted © review originally appeared in School Library Journal and appears here with permission.

Bruce Note: After writing this review Carol Schene went on Bruce McMillan's Puffin Tour to Iceland and created this web page based on that trip.
Click for Visit to Iceland web page

The Horn Book
September/October 1997

"McMillan captures the beauty and drama..."

Bruce McMillan My Horse of the North;
photos by the author

32 pp. Scholastic Press 9/97
ISBN 0-590-97205-7 15.95

Nine-year-old Margrét lives in Iceland and works with her new horse, Perla, to be ready to participate in her first r6ttir-the annual sheep round-up that is a major event in Margrét's farming community. McMillan follows Margrét as she and her friends train their horses and practice their herding on cows and geese. McMillan captures the beauty and drama of the setting in his clear, brilliant photographs. The vivid red of Margrét's sweater is set against the bright blue sky and green countryside. The text is somewhat less focused, and the story lacks the impact of Nights of the Pufflings, also set in Iceland. But the photographs of Margrét and Perla are expressive and tell the story of Margrét's affection for her horse and her determination to accomplish her goal. M.V.K.

This copyrighted © review originally appeared in The Horn Book Magazine and appears here with permission.

Back to the top

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>