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Children's Nonfiction Art

No Horses in the House!

The Audacious Life of Artist Rosa Bonheur

by (author) Mireille Messier

illustrated by Anna Bron

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Mar 2023
Art, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, LGBTQ+, Homosexuality
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2023
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 8
  • Grade: 1 to 3
  • Reading age: 6 to 8


Key Selling Points

  • Many kids enjoy drawing animals, like Rosa! She became famous for her oversized, realistic animal paintings and was able to make a career from it at a time when society did not accept women as artists.
  • 2022 marked the 200th anniversary of Rosa Bonheur's birth.
  • Depicts a strong female role model who chose to live her life the way she wanted, despite gender expectations.
  • Playful, vibrant illustrations bring a youthful take to this fictionalized biography.
  • Also available in French as Pas de chevaux dans la maison!

About the authors

Mireille Messier est une autrice jeunesse née à Montréal, qui a grandi à Ottawa et qui habite maintenant à Toronto. Elle a travaillé dans les domaines de la radiodiffusion et du théâtre. Mireille a publié plus de trente livres en français ou en anglais destinés aux enfants de tous les âges, dont l’album Sergent Billy: La vraie histoire du chevreau devenu soldat. Son album Ma branche préférée a été mis en nomination pour les prix Shining Willow, Blue Spruce et pour les Prix littéraires du Gouverneur général du Canada. Avant de devenir autrice, Mireille a été animatrice à la télévision et à la radio, scénariste, critique littéraire — des domaines dans lesquels elle œuvre toujours de temps à autre. Mireille vit à Toronto avec cinq chats, deux oiseaux et plus d’une centaine de poissons rouges (mais pas de chevaux !).

Mireille Messier's profile page

Anna Bron is an illustrator based out of Vancouver, Canada. She studied traditional hand-drawn animation at Sheridan College and upon graduation embarked on a manifold freelance career, producing award winning children’s picture books, as well as directing and designing numerous short animated films. Her love of the wilderness runs deep in her family, her parents having first met in the Siberian woods. She grew up sleeping in snow caves, climbing mountains, and canoeing rivers and lakes. When she is not drawing, she is exploring the coast mountains of British Colombia. She lives with her partner and two budgies.

Anna Bron's profile page


  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
  • Short-listed, Ontario Chapter IODE Jean Throop Book Award

Editorial Reviews

“A vivid glimpse of [Bonheur’s] character…Gives the artist’s personality its due.”

Kirkus Reviews

“With lyrical text and beautiful art, this book is guaranteed to enchant readers of all ages. No Horses in the House! will be read and treasured for many years to come.”

Children's Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD)

“ and general studies teachers alike will gravitate to the story that highlights an artist rarely covered in school curriculum, especially someone who toppled every roadblock to live her dreams. Recommended.”

School Library Connection

“A story of female empowerment and persistence...a fun and wonderful book of courage and endurance against the odds. Highly Recommended.”

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“The story of a confident and accomplished young woman facing unreasonable societal obstacles.”

Sal's Fiction Addiction

“Destined to become a go-to on any bookshelf, No Horses in the House! (also available in French) is a touchstone, an irreplaceable resource for school, home and public libraries, sparking meaningful discussion, understand and compassion and acting as an enjoyable and accessible point of reference for... the importance of representation, diversity and inclusion, the joy of art and the sheer power of tenacity and creativity. Very highly recommended.”

Canadian Children’s Book News

“Readers will revel in the lifelike animal paintings…The artwork here sprawls beautifully across spreads, showing…a tiny but confident Rosa surrounded by naysayers as well as her beloved animals, potential creations swirling around the scenes as they pour from her mind.”


★“Scenes unfold with cinematic flair...Bonheur’s tenacity and determination will resonate with children, whether or not they’re familiar with her art.”

Quill & Quire, starred review

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