HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Christmas Pony
Author: Sylvia Green
Illustrator: Sharon Scotland
Publisher: Scholastic, republished in 2002
Related website(s): http://www.scholastic.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 7-12
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Green, Sylvia. The Christmas Pony (Published in 2001 by Commonwealth House, 1-19 New Oxford St., London, WC1A 1NU, UK; republished in 2002 by Scholastic Children’s Books, a division of Scholastic Inc., 557 Broadway, New York City, NY 10012). Laura lives out in the country with her dad, who was laid off and is trying to start his own automobile mechanic shop, her mom, who is a seamstress, and her older brother Ben. Their neighbor on one side, Mrs. Cox, has been ill and is selling her farm to move to Australia to be near her daughter. Her old pony, Mr. Crumbs, so named because he is the golden color of toast crumbs, is going to a far away horse sanctuary. However, Laura wants to keep him nearby, so she, Ben, her friend Emily, and Ben’s friend Sanjay form “The Mr. Crumbs Committee” to raise the money to maintain the horse and to find a place for him to stay.
Laura and Ben’s dad says no because ponies are very expensive to look after. And their other neighbor, Mr. Jakes who has plenty of land, seems especially unfriendly. Worst of all, it’s the end of November, and they’ve only got until just a few days after Christmas. Can they locate a suitable stable for Mr. Crumbs? If so, how do they obtain the necessary funds to maintain him? Or will he have to be sent away after all? This is a very cute story. There is a reference to wine, but the book illustrates the value of hard work and cooperation, the importance of not prejudging others, and the joys of friendship. It is especially recommended for those who like horses.