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BIRTHDAY PONY by Jessie Haas


by Jessie Haas & illustrated by Margot Apple

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-057359-7
Publisher: Greenwillow

Haas and Apple have deservedly cornered the market on horse books for second-graders. This charming installment tells the story of Jane and Popcorn, who were born on the same day. Jane’s grandma raised Popcorn, the last foal from her old pony mare, and gives him to Jane on their tenth birthday. Jane is patient and brave, but Popcorn’s a spoiled handful, and his antics prove more than Jane and Grandma can safely handle. Enter Radish, the “good bad pony” of Haas’s previous Runaway Radish (2001). At Tish’s summer camp, Jane learns to expect that Radish will obey her, and the older boys and girls sort Popcorn out. In the end, Jane and Popcorn trot merrily—and safely—into the woods. Apple’s illustrations nicely break up the text of this early chapter book. Haas definitely knows her ponies. Another blue ribbon. (Fiction. 6-9)