Saturday, January 02, 2010

The Perfect Pony

Picture source flipkart
The author- Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Illustrations- Shelagh McNicholas
Age Range: 4 to 8
Most children are fascinated by pets and at some point or the other desire a pup or a least a gold fish. Imagine if they lived on a farm- the options get bigger.

Katie’s brother and mother have their own horses and Katie eagerly awaits her pony. Her quest for a perfect pony, narrated in first person by Katie, is what the book- The Perfect Pony- is about.

Katie has a mental image of how her pony is likely to be- sleek and shiny, fast and spirited, the color of toffee apples. She dreams of the day when her mother would approve and grant her wish. Till then she spends time helping her brother with his and drawing her dream horse.

Once her mother acknowledges her need, the search begins with visits to fairs. Every prospective pony comes with some weakness disappointing Katie and prolonging her wait. Katie’s mother is the voice of reason helping Katie make a correct choice.

After a series of ponies which are tested and rejected and with Katie left dejected, it turns out that the final selection is a not so perfect pony after all. But Katie is thrilled with the chosen one immediately forging a bond that one assumes will last a long time

A subtle message lurks here- that little imperfections make life interesting and that the “best” thing may not be the “apt” one for us. It also shows the value of patience.

The author Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, makes the story an enjoyable ride- Katie is endearing and the mother daughter relationship is charming. The writer also introduces a variety of ponies and horse riding related words, provoking a child’s interest in this area.

Shelagh McNicholas has created her expressive farm and horse scenes using watercolor and they endow a congenial and motion packed feel to the story.

4 comments:

ChoxBox said...

There is something about little girls and ponies right?! There was a pony-loving phase in these parts as well, so much that a few horse-riding sessions also happened :) The book reminds me of Sophie in the Saddle by Dick King-Smith, which was nearly memorized as a result of the 'phase'!

artnavy said...

wow- 2 horse books in a row at ST!!

chox- need to read that. . .

Praba said...

Crisp and crystal clear writing. Offbeat. Thanks!

Have you read The King and the Kiang, by Tulika books? A fantasy tale set in Sikkim about a girl riding her horse(kiang) freely on the mountains, and a king who so badly wants to get the kiang. A magical one about the beauty of nature.

artnavy said...

thanks and yes praba - have read that. it is a beautiful story and i loved the message.

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