Book review: The Three Little Horses and the Big Bully Donkey by Liana-Melissa Allen


Book Description:

A tale (based on the “Three Little Pigs”) about three little horse brothers who suddenly lose their house that is destroyed by a fire. The young horses are totally alone and thrust into the reality of having to depend on themselves and each other against a bully donkey, who wanders the forest wrecking homes and bullying the other animals. This warm-hearted tale promotes strong values and has a fun premise. Written and humorously illustrated in vivid color throughout by Liana-Melissa Allen, the story is a proven winner for reading aloud to children

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Meet the Author:  

Liana-Melissa Allen is a young author and illustrator of children’s books and books for youth. She has written, illustrated and published six books. Her most recent one is the colorfully illustrated children’s book “Donkey’s Kite”, the second book of “A Horse Valley Adventure” series. The first was “The Three Little Horses and the Big Bully Donkey”. The lovable cartoon characters, Max, Lax, Jack and Donkey makes them a favorite of first and second grade students. She is now working on her third book of “A Horse Valley Adventure”.The magical world of fantasy has inspired Liana’s imagination since as long as she can remember. Part of this was fueled by her dad reading aloud to her every day when she was younger. As a result, reading is her primary passion along with music. These two passions feed her imagination into stories and drawings, which she joyously sketches out into storyboards for a potential book.

Liana-Melissa is also a dedicated classical/jazz pianist, and mostly enjoys older music, especially from the big band era and the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s. While playing the piano, her imagination often leads to a great amount of improvising. Frequently, Liana will improvise a theme for one of the stories she is writing. Capturing this improvised music became a priority, which ultimately resulted in theme music for “A Horse Valley Adventure”. The “Horse Valley” theme will be used for a short animated video featuring her Horse Valley characters.Liana-Melissa loves to hear from her young readers.

Liana-Melissa loves to hear from her young readers. Please visit her website at for more information, and to contact her by email. Visit her on Facebook too.


I soon realized as I was reading this book that this story is similar to the story of the Three Little Pigs.   Despite the familiar story line, I found the story to be engaging and entertaining.  You feel the frustration and fear of the three horse brothers as they see their home burning down and their attempt to rescue their favourite things in little wagons.  However, at a time when they should be pulling together, they separate and go their own ways, which ultimately leads to disaster when the Donkey bully destroys their homes.

The last horse wisely builds a strong house and overcomes his fear of the bully.  The ending is a positive one as the bully Donkey becomes their friend and they enjoy doing things together (I like the piano!)

The story brings up the topic of bullies, a common problem in schools today and the possible reasons why children engage in bullying.

I loved the illustrations, the funny expressions on the character’s faces and goodies in their wagons.  The little blue bird is my favourite as well, he is almost always in one of the illustrations.  I would recommend this book be placed in elementary school libraries.

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