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back to Pony Fun

 

New Book Review competition coming soon.

Great Reading Opportunities For
Horsey-Mad Children

 

 What can be more satisfying than seeing a child curled up contentedly reading a good book? Sadly, it is becoming a rarer occurrence now due to the popularity of mobile phones and tablets.
 From literary classics like ‘Black Beauty’ to interactive books like ‘Create Your Happy Horses’. If you have a horse mad child in your life then you have an advantage when it comes to encouraging them to read as they already have something in their lives that they are passionate about and a book about ponies or horses has therefore, a very good chance of being read.

Just this week one newspaper ran a feature on Einstein and his famous quote “I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” So, instead of letting our children discuss what level of Candy Crush they have reached let’s try and make a difference, by encouraging them to read more.

One of my daughters, (Mollie), without even telling me, wrote to her favourite horsey author and was absolutely thrilled when she received a handwritten reply. She was pony-mad and wanted to let Linda Chapman the author of the Secret Unicorn series of books know how much she loved her stories. (I know Unicorns aren’t strictly horses or ponies..)

So, where do you start? Obviously a great deal depends on the age of the child in question.

Ponies can become captivating to a child from as young as four or five years old. At this age you have a wide choice of creative books like ‘Create Your Happy Horses’ or Miss Melody ‘Dress Up Your Horse’. Or, you have the lovely opportunity to sit and read to your child – my advice is make the most of this while you can. Experts say this helps develop a child’s reading skills, their love of language and it also of course helps you build a lovely bond with your child.

Stacy Gregg with horsesRecommended books for the younger reader are ‘Confetti the Magic Wedding Pony’ by Sarah Kilbride, ‘The Enchanted Horse’ by Magdalen Nabb or, if you are about to take the plunge and buy a pony then ‘My Best Pony Book’ will be really handy as it tells you (and your child) everything you need to know about choosing a pony.

Once a child is confident enough to read by themselves, a book series is a brilliant way of encouraging voracious reading! This is where authors like Stacy Gregg (shown above) and Belinda Rapley come into their own.

Stacy has written 18 books ranging from Pony Club Secrets to Pony Club Rivals. In 2012 Luvponies hosted a book signing with Stacy on our stand at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

She was a wonderful and very popular guest and despite having a long queue that went right round the corner of our stand, she spent quality time with each and every little reader that had waited patiently to meet her.

Stacy lives in New Zealand and has an engaging and up to date website that children can visit and see when her new books are being launched and when her next book signings are taking place. To visit her website just click here.

Belinda Rapley (shown left) is the author of the hugely popular Pony Detectives series (think Famous Five on horseback). She is a British author and began riding when she was eleven.

She caught the horse bug early on, going on to study and pass several British Horse Society (BHS) exams. Belinda also completed a National Diploma in Horse Studies and she become a qualified riding instructor plus she has worked in a show jumping and a racing yard. Her talents also include writing and in addition to her Pony Detectives series of stories she has written articles for Horse and Hound on-line.

At Luvponies, we also have our favourites and books that we recommend and ‘The Pony Lover’s Handbook’ is definitely one of these. It is a very beautiful book, full of tips and ideas, beautiful illustrations and little secret envelopes with messages inside.

My youngest daughter, Phoebe, picked it up one day when she was just six and hadn’t really discovered her love of ponies, yet she sat and read it from cover to cover completely captivated. Here’s the link if you’d like to take a look for yourself; 

Book Reviews
To play our small part in encouraging young readers we have this month launched our first book reviews. Three young reviewers have read and critiqued the Pony Detectives novel “Moonlight Star of the Show” and in their opinion, it’s a winner! You can read their reviews below.

In fact pony books and their reviews are going to become a regular feature so keep a look out for updated by either visiting www.ponygiftguide.com or by following our pony blogwww.luvponies.com/shouts.aspx

With winter in full swing this is a great time to encourage some great horsey reading!

Reviews of The Pony Detectives; Moonlight Star of the Show
Our three reviewers are; Lulu Solman who is 9 and lives in West Sussex, Ellie Wells who is 11 years old and lives in Berkshire and Grace Spokes from Leicestershire who is 12.

Lulu’s Review
I thought it was a great book and you don’t know what is coming next. This book would definitely hook you into the series. It explains the characters and their backgrounds.

The story really kept my attention because I didn’t know what was coming next and I would recommend it to my friends because it’s exciting. I would recommend this book to my friends who do ride and those that don’t – you don’t have to be interested in horses to enjoy the story.

It was adventurous and I would definitely read more books of this series. I would score this book 10 out of 10.

Lulu has read one other Pony Detectives book, Foxy: Rivalry At Summer Camp

Ellie’s Review
I loved this story, I couldn’t put the book down, it kept my attention the whole way through. I like the way that there are sentences that include helpful tips about equine care which is useful if you have your own horse. I would recommend this book to my friends and I would score it a definite 10 out of 10.

Ellie has also read at least one other Pony Detectives story.

Grace’s Review
I really enjoyed reading this book as the author has mainly included horses and ponies but at the same time she has also included great tips on how to care for your own horse. I really like how the four friends sneak around to find clues.

I found this book quite interesting and I wanted to read on to find out how it was going to end. I liked the way the end was slightly twisted.

I would definitely recommend this book to children aged 7-10 years old. it can help children to get more into reading. I thoroughly liked this book but the only thing I would say bad about it would be that it can be quite predictable at times.

I would score this book 7.5 out of 10.

Grace also has “Scout and the Mystery of the Marsh Ponies” which she plans to read soon.

A big “thank-you” to our three young reviewers for sharing their thoughts on this book.