Looking for something new to read?

Looking for something new to read this winter? Here are three new books to read while cozied up to the fire with a nice mug of hot cocoa to get you through the winter nights!

Third Husker the Mule children’s book released

Husker Adventure Awaits.jpeg

Children’s author Codi Vallery-Mills of Sturgis, S.D. has just released the third book in her Husker the Mule children’s series. The latest book, Husker the Mule: Adventure Awaits, takes young readers on a back-country camping trip with Husker, his young owner, Carter and a new character to the series a young cowgirl named Caty Lou. 

“Kids will enjoy this book because of its fun setting, characters, and pictures while parents will appreciate that it has a message about self-confidence and being open to adventures for their little one,” Mills says.

Once again illustrated by the award-winning western artist, Teri McTighe of Faith, S.D., the book is delightfully brought to life for readers. “Teri always does a wonderful job of creating artwork that enhances the storyline beautifully,” Mills says.

Husker the Mule is based on a real mule that resides at the author’s family ranch. “My family has raised and purchased mules throughout the years. They are smart and fun animals, and while out moving cattle one day I noticed my husband riding our red mule Husker and thought he would make a fun kid’s book character. It started from there,” Mills says. 

Through the Husker character, each book gives a subtle lesson to young readers. “It was important to me to have a moral lesson or something that could help children grow in their character, yet be a fun, short read for the whole family,” she says.

Husker the Mule: Adventure Awaits, along with the first two books, is available on Amazon.com for $11.95.

Missouri Mule Owner Write Children’s Book Series


Brandy Von Holten, Mora, Mo., recently released Adventures at Von Holten Ranch: KTM, the first book in her upcoming book series. The books center around animal’s from the Von Holten Ranch, including horses and a mule. Each book is based on real events from the main character’s lives, and told from the animal’s perspective. 

Brandy is a certified middle and high school science teacher with her Masters in teaching. She has numerous judge’s cards, won buckles, saddles, and different world and national titles or high placings in several different associations varying from mounted archery, obstacles, cowboy racing, and ranch dressage. Along with her husband David, she hosts over 70 events per year at their trail riding facility in Missouri.

The first book is centered around KTM, who is her primary trail lesson horse. He is on a mission to become a lesson horse to help children fall in love with horses to ensure that his species will have a future home as older generations of horse lovers go to the spirit land. Through his journey, the children learn the difference one positive individual can make in the world.

The second book, due to be released in fall 2019, features JoJo, a Missouri Fox Trotter mule who faces numerous difficulties and prejudices related to not looking like a horse.  JoJo’s book will inspire children to not be afraid to go for their goals, even if they do not look like what society says they should.  In JoJo’s book, he is highly educated and finds his true calling in the sport of mounted archery.  

The third book will touch people from all over. It is about a horse named Chalkboard that must learn to be a productive adult even though she had a bad childhood. Will Chalkboard learn to trust others? 

Two other books are slated for the series: Glamour, a small grade mare, must prove she is valuable even though she is small, and Peppercorn will learn to not be a bully, even though she was bullied.  

There are plans to continue the series, with books written from the perspective of the dog and the the farm, since Von Holten Ranch has seen many changes being in the same family for over 100 years.

The Von Holtens have been approached about possibly making the book series into a cartoon series. Who knows, there might be stuffed mule animals with an off-centered star and a Stegosaurs mohawk in the hearts of children all over the world one day!

Brandy has been a contributor to Mules and More for two years with articles varying from “Training a Horse vs Training a Mule,” “When to Keep, Sell, or Send Your Mule to Training,” and “Benefits of Tracking Your Time.” If you would like to contact her, you can email her at vonholtenranch@yahoo.com or find her author’s Facebook page “Brandy Von Holten.”

Purchse a copy of Adventures at Von Holten Ranch: KTM here.

Miss Royal’s Mules by Irene Bennet Brown


Set in Kansas in the 1900s, this tale of a down-on-her luck woman who finds a possible solution to her troubles in a herd of mules is an absolute joy to read. After the family farm is lost, Jocelyn Belle Royal meets a mysterious man and joins a mule drive. It’s not always smooth driving. Run-ins with outlaws and thieves attempt to side-track her journey. She is pushed and tested, but this tenacious heroin persistently drives her mules onward and to do the job she is hired for, not only changing her own life, but the lives of those around her.

Author Irene Bennet Brown paints a lovely picture of the turn of the century midwest with accurate historical events and details. 

Cover art is by Bonnie Shields, the Tennessee Mule Artist. Miss Royal’s Mules is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble ($25.95 for a hardcover or $7.99 for the Kindle version).