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  • Published: 1 October 2019
  • ISBN: 9781760892760
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 96
  • RRP: $16.99

Running with the Horses

From one of Australia’s best-loved children’s book creators comes a beautiful new edition of this unforgettable story of courage, adventure and friendship.

*Australian Book Design Awards: Best Designed Children's Book Winner 2020*

Nina lives with her father above the palace stables at the Royal Academy of Dancing Horses. She loves watching the famous white stallions as they parade for the crowds, but her favourite horse is a mare called Zelda – an old cab horse Nina often pats on her way home from school.

When Nina’s world changes dramatically, she and her father have to flee from the city. Their journey over the mountains with Zelda and the stallions seems impossible, with danger at every turn. It will require all of Nina’s bravery, daring and faith in an extraordinary old horse.

"A thrilling adventure story by one of Australia’s greatest children’s authors." Angela Crocombe, Readings

"A picture book drama that has the sweep of a novel." Kirkus Reviews

"This is a story of adventure, courage, friendship and horses ... a perfect gift book for children." Kids' Book Review

Another classic from Alison Lester, the creator of many much-loved and award-winning picture books, including:
Are We There Yet?
I'm Green and I'm Grumpy!
Who's that Knocking?
Running with the Horses
One Small Island
Kissed by the Moon
Our Island
My Dog Bigsy
Sophie Scott Goes South

  • Published: 1 October 2019
  • ISBN: 9781760892760
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 96
  • RRP: $16.99

About the author

Alison Lester

Alison Lester is one of Australia's most popular and bestselling creators of children's books. Her picture books mix imaginary worlds with everyday life, encouraging children to believe in themselves and celebrate the differences that make them special.

In a career spanning decades, Alison Lester has written many books, and won numerous prestigious awards, including the Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Picture Book of the Year Award for her much-loved classic Are We There Yet? and the CBCA Eve Pownall Book of the Year Award for One Small Island. Her picture books include Kissed by the Moon, Running with the Horses, Sophie Scott Goes South and My Dog Bigsy – to name just a few. Alison Lester became Australia's first Children's Book Laureate in 2012, a position shared with Boori Monty Pryor. In 2016, Alison was awarded the Dromkeen Medal for her outstanding achievement in the creation of Australian children's and young adult literature, and in 2018 she became the first children's book writer to win the Melbourne Prize for Literature, for her contribution to Australian literature and cultural and intellectual life.

Alison lives on a farm in the Victorian countryside. She spends part of each year travelling to schools around Australia, helping students and teachers develop their own stories.

Also by Alison Lester

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Praise for Running with the Horses

This is a new edition of the picture book first released 10 years ago, now in a format that will attract newly independent readers to enjoy this story inspired by the rescue of the Lipizzaner stallions from the Spanish Riding School in Vienna during the Second World War . . . With all the original illustrations – the main characters being in black and white line drawings set against lavish colourful backgrounds – this is an intriguing read that justifies its re-release and promotion to a whole new generation.


Originally published ten years ago as a long picture book, this exciting historical story has now been transformed into a beautiful compact hardback suitable for junior readers . . . Interspersed with Lester’s absolutely magnificent illustrations (particularly those of horses), this is an elegant publication of a thrilling adventure story by one of Australia’s greatest children’s authors. It will be loved by readers aged 7+.

Angela Crocombe, https://www.readings.com.au/review/running-with-the-horses-by-alison-lester

A story of adventure, courage, friendship and horses . . . This beautiful and moving fiction story is inspired by the rescue of the Lipizzaner stallions of the Spanish Riding School during WW2 . . . a perfect gift book for children.

Kids’ Book Review

Awards & recognition

CBCA Book of the Year Awards

Honour Award  •  2010  •  Younger Readers

American Booksellers Book of the Year

Shortlisted  •  2010  •  Best Designed Picture Book

Australian Book Industry Awards

Shortlisted  •  2010  •  Book of the Year for Younger Children

Prime Minister's Literary Award

Shortlisted  •  2010  •  Children's Fiction

Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards

Shortlisted  •  2010  •  Lower Primary

Melbourne Prize for Literature

Winner  •  2018  •  Alison Lester

Australian Book Design Awards Longlist Announced

A huge congratulations to Penguin Random House designers Louisa Maggio, Marina Messiha and Tony Palmer, who have all been longlisted for Australian Book Design Awards in 2020. The awards ‘celebrate the bravest and brightest, the most original and beautiful books published in Australia’, and is administered by the Australian Book Designers Association (ABDA).

Here are our longlisted titles:

Best Designed Children's Fiction Book
Running with the Horses by Alison Lester

Best Designed Children's Illustrated Book
Lights Out Leonard by Josh Pyke

Best illustrated Children's Book
Lottie and Walter by Anna Walker

Best Designed Children’s/Young Adult Series
Shout Out to the Girls, High Five to the Boys and Stand Up for the Future

Best Designed Autobiography/Biography/Memoir Nonfiction Cover
The Prettiest Horse in the Glue Factory by Corey White

Emerging Designer of the Year
Louisa Maggio

The shortlist will be announced in April and the winners will be announced at an awards party on 22 May. To learn more about the awards, and to see the longlists for all categories, see the ABDA website.

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