Popsicle Pony

Jill Stover, Author
Jill Stover, Author HarperCollins Publishers $19 (1p) ISBN 978-0-688-12392-5
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-0-688-12393-2
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Although this story of a stubborn pony has the ingredients of a perennial favorite, it's held back by cloying illustrations. Every day, ice cream vendor Popsicle Pete and his horse, Chiefy, make the rounds of a small Southwestern town, bringing cool treats to all the kids. One day, when Pete has to go to the hospital for an unspecified ailment, he leaves Chiefy in the narrator's care. ``I turned into a real Texas cowgirl,'' says the girl. ``I had big plans to ride Chiefy in the county fair parade.'' But Chiefy doesn't cooperate. He misses his daily popsicle route and breaks free of his keeper to cause trouble in his favorite places: the ice cream store, the feed store and the movie theater. In a concise and entertaining narrative that has the ring of truth, Stover demonstrates the same affection for her Lone Star childhood home as she did in Alamo Across Texas . But her Popsicle-colored palette, strange mix of styles and inexpert draftsmanship undermine the ambient text. Ages 4-up. (Mar.)
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