Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa Erica Silverman and Betsy Lewin, Harcourt, $15, Hardcover; 800-543-1918.

cowgirlkateAGES 4-8: This darling tale about the importance of friendship, split into four mini-chapters, is a helpful introduction for children beginning to branch out to the world of “chapter books.”

The book is set in autumn, when Cowgirl Kate and her horse Cocoa develop a deep bond as Cowgirl Kate heads back to school. Cocoa becomes saddened by their separation and by Cowgirl Kate’s new friends and interests monopolizing her time. Cocoa soon learns while he will always be the most important friend in Cowgirl Kate’s life, there is also room for new friends and adventures. Mixed with descriptive adjectives and expressive verbs, Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa is an excellent story about the true meaning of friendship, sharing, responsibility, flexibility and courage. —Angela Guidi

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