A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Keeker learns respect for her pony by speaking calmly and caring for her lovingly. Plum learns to respond to Keeker's friendly advances and builds trust.
Violence & Scariness
Girl is tossed off pony on trail but not injured. She loses and then finds pony.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this book, the first in the Keeker series, will draw in emergent readers, especially horse lovers. It includes positive messages on caring for and building trust with animals. A girl is tossed off a pony, but not injured.
Is It Any Good?
With its simple sentence structure, easy-to-read language, and interesting characters and story line, this book is a great tool to push the new reader along. It will appeal to many young readers, particularly those who dream of owning a pony. Six short chapters are illustrated with delightful curlicue, thin-lined drawings on every page, helping the reader follow the plot and learn even more about the characters. And for kids who finish this book asking for their own ponies, there are also a few pages of pony facts describing the time-intensive responsibilities involved.
Author Hadley Higginson, who grew up on farm, clearly understands young girls like 8-year-old Keeker, who desperately wants a pony. She also gets animal behavior, and in giving the pony Plum a voice, she cleverly shows the animal as mischievous and a bit full of herself. Plum wants to be free, run, eat blackberries -- kids can understand this perspective, too. So readers will root for both Keeker and Plum to get what they want. It's a great lure to keep readers wanting to know what happens next.
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