THE SNOW PONY by Anne Eliot Crompton


Age Range: 8 - 12
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 New in town and already at odds with Marigold Stass, the boastful, charismatic girl in her class who happens to live next door, Jannie reluctantly accepts a job with reclusive Mr. Flower, who wants help gentling a pony that he hopes to give his city grandson, Arthur. Gradually, as Jannie and Mr. Flower work with the pony, Pearl, she gets to know him: shy when he was a boy, he loved poetry but didn't get his high-school diploma because he refused to recite in public--yet his son is a lawyer. Meanwhile, Jannie, who is learning what it means to be left out--as Mr. Flower has always been--is also discovering that the Stasses are a warm, loving family and that her vendetta with Marigold is less one-sided than she imagined. When Arthur finally comes, he too is shy, and terrified of Pearl; moreover, Arthur's dad is planning, without consulting Mr. Flower, to place the grandfather in a home. This precipitates an explosive family--and sets the stage for closer ties between Mr. Flower and his neighbors. The conclusion is a bit pat--a young Stass takes Arthur's place on the pony, while Jannie and Marigold become close friends--but the parallels are thoughtful, and the relationships have been built with unobtrusive care. A slim, approachable story that covers some familiar themes with more sensitivity than usual. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 14th, 1991
ISBN: 0-8050-1573-6
Page count: 117pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1991