cover image MY PONY


Susan Jeffers, . . Hyperion, $15.99 (28pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-1995-9

Jeffers's (Three Jovial Huntsmen) own longing for a horse as a youngster—and her childhood love of drawing horses—infuses this tale with a palpable authenticity. "I want a pony. I want a pony more than anything else in the world," the likable young narrator begins. Whenever she asks her parents for one, they respond negatively, so the child creates a horse of her own. "I call her Silver. She has dapples and a shiny coat. When I draw her, it is as if she comes alive," she notes, while a translucent white horse watches over her as she paints. A turn of the page reveals the child soaring out of the window into the night sky on the animal's back. Pastel hues dominate the pleasing palette of Jeffers's artwork, which moves easily between homespun real scenes of the 1950s and incandescent dream sequences. By the shimmering moonlight, the two ride through pine boughs that resemble diamonds into a forest of candy- and carrot-bearing trees. They encounter a herd of other horses, which joins them as they gallop through a mountain stream and "flash like a comet across the sky" before returning home to the girl's drawing table. In a dramatic closing portrait, the horse seems to peer out at readers—"Silver waits just outside my window. Always." A gentle paean to these awe-inspiring animals and to the power of imagination. All ages. (Sept.)