cover image My Chincoteague Pony

My Chincoteague Pony

Susan Jeffers, . . Hyperion, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-4231-0023-2

With its sparkling pink cover and pony, this book will surely appeal to My Little Pony collectors, but Jeffers's (My Pony ) heartwarming story of a girl achieving her dream offers much of substance, demonstrating the kindness of the Virginia community dedicated to saving the Chincoteague Island ponies. When Julie doesn't have enough money to buy a pony at the yearly auction, townspeople contribute their own money to make sure her months of hard work are rewarded. The author's theme—how it is that children learn to be generous—is delivered with a light touch: Julie vows to work just as hard the following year so she can help another girl buy a pony of her own. Unfortunately, the striking author's note about the bighearted Chincoteague tradition of helping others precedes the story, effectively spoiling the suspense. The paintings, rendered in a variety of sizes, capture the beauty of island sunsets and the spirited ponies; they do special justice to Julie's breathless anticipation and initial disappointment. An homage to Marguerite Henry appears in an illustration of Julie reading Henry's classic Misty of Chincoteague . Ages 3–8. (June)