Sue’s Sunrise Surprise
by Susan Stanley Broesche
Mascot Books

"But what else does she see? What could it be?"

A little girl named Sue wakes one morning to a beautiful sunrise. As she peeps out the windows of her home, she sees the familiar horses she loves: Nellie, Trigger, and Poke-a-dot. The horses roam the field as usual, but there’s something new that morning, something hiding behind the hay bale. Sue knows the horses are not afraid, so she is not afraid, and thus begins a little guessing game. Soon her parents join her, playing along in the fun, and here Broesche cleverly engages the reader with a lighthearted mystery to keep the pages turning. Finally, the “wonderful surprise in the glorious sunrise” is revealed, and Sue is able to appreciate the gifts of life.

Broesche prefaces this endearing story with an explanation about the red bird which appears throughout the book. The bird represents her father, and she dedicates this book to him, crediting him for helping to foster her lifelong love of horses. With this sweet story, Broesche skillfully executes the simple, two-line rhymes on each page and with a wink encourages adult readers to guess along with their little ones.

Illustrator Crystal Maloney paints the pleasing world outside Sue’s window, pairing the imagery fittingly with Broesche’s narrative. However, intentional or no, the rising sun throughout presents a washed-out look on the pages, with color distortions that make some images difficult to interpret. The book is bound in a beautiful hardback cover, a nice touch that compliments Broesche’s sweet tale. Hers is an enjoyable family read that teaches young ones about love and gives them an opportunity to learn and admire the cycles of life.

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