Cynthia Leitich Smith
Check out the cover for Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World about Kindness by Donna Janell Bowman, illustrated by Daniel Minter (Lee & Low, 2016). From the promotional copy:
A horse that can read, write, spell, and do math? Ridiculous!
That's what people thought in the late 1800's - until they met Beautiful Jim Key.
Born a weak and wobbly colt in 1889, Jim was cared for by William "Doc" Key, a formerly enslaved man and self-taught veterinarian who believed in treating animals with kindness, patience, and his own homemade remedies.
Under Doc's watchful eyes, Jim grew to be a healthy young stallion with a surprising talent - a knack for learning! For seven years, Doc and Jin worked together, perfecting Jim's skills. Then it was time for them to go on the road, traveling throughout the United States and impressing audiences with Jim's amazing performances. In the process, they broke racial barriers, and raised awareness for the humane treatment of animals.
Here's a true story of an extraordinary horse and the remarkable man who nurtured the horse's natural abilities. Together they asked the world to step right up and embrace their message of kindness toward animals.