Clarence Goes Out West & Meets a Purple Horse

Episode #2

Clarence Goes Out West & Meets a Purple Horse

Written & Illustrated by Jean Ekman Adams

Read with Permission By

Rising Moon


Pigs, Horses, Friendship, Ranch life-West.


5 – 8 years


“While visiting a Western ranch, Clarence the pig plays cards, line dances, plays the washtub in a cowboy band, and reads stories at bedtime with his new friend Smoky the purple horse.”

Teaching Tips

Great for any age or time of day.

It pairs well with a Western Ranch or Farm theme.

The text is slightly longer, which, to me, makes it beautiful, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. But perhaps you can ask students questions to draw them back into the story in case you notice they’re growing wriggly.


– What color is Smoky the horse?

– How many horses do you see in this picture?

– How do you think Clarence might feel?


Ask your students, “If you had a horse that could be any color in the entire world, what color would it be?” You can then assign them an art activity by giving them paper, crayons, markers, or even paint (if you don’t mind the cleanup). Protip: If they ask to make a white horse, a darker shade of paper usually does the trick.

Show Notes

When the time came to find books I wanted to share on Michael’s Storytime, I set out to the library. I positioned a child-size chair at one end of a book stack and began reading. Hours later, I read every picture book, cover to cover, along the first shelf and hadn’t found a single book I liked.

With a notebook full of titles I nearly hated, I went across the street to quell my sorrows with a bean and cheese burrito. I still didn’t feel any better, but I did have an idea. I had heard of a bookstore I’d never been to, dedicated entirely to children’s books. Perhaps the library wasn’t the way to go. Maybe the little bookshop might have a better selection.

Starting in episode 13, I occasionally refer to Ms. Ann’s Bookshop. Ms. Ann is none other than Ann Diener, the owner of the one time Mecca of children’s book literary achievements, Yellow Book Road. Tragically, Yellow Book Road closed down, but I believe there would not have been a Michael’s Storytime if there hadn’t been a Yellow Book Road. I went in one day, introduced myself to Ms. Ann, and with open arms, she allowed me to come in for hours on end to read as much as I could.

One of the first books I took down was Clarance Goes Out West and Meets a Purple Horse. It was love at first sight. Then I found two more! “This is it,” I thought, “This is what Michael’s Storytime is all about—it’s a platform for all the picture books I’d never heard of, that I thought deserved to be in print for decades to come.”

Jean Eckman Addams is a marvel, and Clarance and Smoky remain my mother’s favorite episodes.

Full Episode

Book Only

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Watch full-length episodes of Michael’s Storytime every Tuesday, along with the Book Only videos and clips every Thursday.