A solid if uncomplicated read for knowledgeable lovers of horses and horseback riding.

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PENNY AND PRINCE

From the Pony Camp Diaries series

Penny has arrived at a weeklong pony camp, but is she ready to ride again after her fall at a local horse show?

Penny’s broken arm has healed, but she hasn’t regained her confidence. Unsure how much riding she is ready to do at camp, she hides the fact that she is a mature rider from her fellow campers to avoid setting an expectation she’s scared to meet. Penny gets paired with a piebald cob pony named Prince, and she instantly falls in love with him. She finds a friend in Prince and constantly confides in him. Prince is perfect for Penny’s comfort level, and trusting him helps Penny become ready to challenge herself again. Along the way, she learns to get along with her truly annoying roommate and learns that she didn’t have to hide her experience from her friends. Penny leaves camp knowing that she’ll be back in the horse shows again soon. In the co-publishing Megan and Mischief, Megan comes to camp ready for a challenge after riding mostly slow ponies at her barn. All of the campers appear to be white except for Amita, “a beautiful Indian girl” and fellow camper; Penny’s father appears to be slightly darker than the others. The text assumes familiarity with horses, but a glossary helps motivated readers, and believable emotions make the story accessible to all.

A solid if uncomplicated read for knowledgeable lovers of horses and horseback riding. (tips, quiz) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68010-425-7

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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With Ivan’s movie out this year from Disney, expect great interest—it will be richly rewarded.

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THE ONE AND ONLY BOB

Tiny, sassy Bob the dog, friend of The One and Only Ivan (2012), returns to tell his tale.

Wisecracking Bob, who is a little bit Chihuahua among other things, now lives with his girl, Julia, and her parents. Happily, her father works at Wildworld Zoological Park and Sanctuary, the zoo where Bob’s two best friends, Ivan the gorilla and Ruby the elephant, live, so Bob gets to visit and catch up with them regularly. Due to an early betrayal, Bob doesn’t trust humans (most humans are good only for their thumbs); he fears he’s going soft living with Julia, and he’s certain he is a Bad Dog—as in “not a good representative of my species.” On a visit to the zoo with a storm threatening, Bob accidentally falls into the gorilla enclosure just as a tornado strikes. So that’s what it’s like to fly. In the storm’s aftermath, Bob proves to everyone (and finally himself) that there is a big heart in that tiny chest…and a brave one too. With this companion, Applegate picks up where her Newbery Medal winner left off, and fans will be overjoyed to ride along in the head of lovable, self-deprecating Bob on his storm-tossed adventure. His wry doggy observations and attitude are pitch perfect (augmented by the canine glossary and Castelao’s picture dictionary of dog postures found in the frontmatter). Gorilla Ivan described Julia as having straight, black hair in the previous title, and Castelao's illustrations in that volume showed her as pale-skinned. (Finished art not available for review.)

With Ivan’s movie out this year from Disney, expect great interest—it will be richly rewarded. (afterword) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299131-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often...

CHARLOTTE'S WEB

A successful juvenile by the beloved New Yorker writer portrays a farm episode with an imaginative twist that makes a poignant, humorous story of a pig, a spider and a little girl.

Young Fern Arable pleads for the life of runt piglet Wilbur and gets her father to sell him to a neighbor, Mr. Zuckerman. Daily, Fern visits the Zuckermans to sit and muse with Wilbur and with the clever pen spider Charlotte, who befriends him when he is lonely and downcast. At the news of Wilbur's forthcoming slaughter, campaigning Charlotte, to the astonishment of people for miles around, spins words in her web. "Some Pig" comes first. Then "Terrific"—then "Radiant". The last word, when Wilbur is about to win a show prize and Charlotte is about to die from building her egg sac, is "Humble". And as the wonderful Charlotte does die, the sadness is tempered by the promise of more spiders next spring.

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often informative as amusing, and the whole tenor of appealing wit and pathos will make fine entertainment for reading aloud, too.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1952

ISBN: 978-0-06-026385-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1952

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