Sunday, November 26, 2017

Paisley the Pony by Cindy Freland

Paisley the Pony by Cindy Freland is about a special pony on Assateague Island off Maryland's Atlantic shore and an Indian girl named Kanti. When a Spanish ship crashes there in 1750, the Indians help the crew and horses survive. Kanti received Paisley as a gift for her 8th birthday. The story describes the work the Indians did as well as the games such as horse racing.

The story is somewhat confusing at times, especially in the beginning. It starts in first person with Alyssa (a grandmother telling the story to her granddaughter), then switches to third person. And the horses have dialog with each other as well as the humans. The transitions could be smoother.

Overall, a delightful story and gorgeous artwork!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Diablo - Buyer Beware!

Diablo - Buyer Beware! Written by Fallacious Rose and set in Australia, this horse book will be enjoyed by readers who have learned the hard way about buying and managing their first horse! Or for young horse lovers wanting a horse!

Kim, 11 years old, desperately want her own horse, especially after a pony they leased ended up with founder. So her "mum" and new stepfather go horse hunting. After several passes on unsuitable equines, they choose Diablo. A quick trial ride goes well but that ends when they take him home. Kim can't even lead him; forget about riding him!

Kim seeks out advice on how to handle this stubborn horse - first bad advice, then some good - and finally learns horsemanship and riding skills. She also realizes that she can use some of these techniques on her older, annoying brother! Diablo actually saves her brother in the end.

The story is written in first person, and on the first page the young girl speaks to the reader. She explains that she "chats" with Diablo. That is, she translates what his body positions are saying. So there is dialog from the horse. An interesting concept, but it is written well with great insight into family relationships as well as horse training. Very comical in places!

It would make a great gift for young horse-loving girls.