Weight-loss guru Craig offers lifestyle advice for children wrapped up in a sugary junk-food version of a pony story.
Young Genevieve (who goes by Jenny) wants to swap work at a nearby stable for a chance to attend a summer riding camp. The owner accepts and offers her the use of an old horse she names Candy Ride. They both love sugared snacks, but the goodies make her and her horse feel awful, while exercise and healthy eating transform them into horse-show champions. Although the introduction features a photograph of a racehorse Craig once owned, she cuts a lot of literary corners in her representation of basic horse care—the idea that a child could alter a lesson horse’s feeding plan is preposterous, as is the idea that the horses wouldn’t have been appropriately fed already by the stable owner. As for the likelihood of a girl who isn’t strong enough to ride lifting hay bales as a workout? Those bales weigh between 40 and 70 pounds each. Edelson’s colorful watercolor illustrations likewise play fast and loose with horse anatomy and tack—some is completely impossible—and, aside from one vaguely well-tanned girl, feature only white girls as riders.
Grandmas who believe in the Jenny Craig weight-loss program are the only possible market for this book.(Picture book. 5-8)