Monday, 1 February 2016

The Runaway Foal: Pine Valley Ponies

The Runaway Foal: Pine Valley Ponies by Kate Welshman, Illustrated by Heath McKenzie (Scholastic Press)
PB RRP $9.99
ISBN 978-1-74362-431-9

Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Autumn has arrived and all the ponies at Pine Valley Ranch are putting on their winter woollies. Maddy’s pony Snowy has grown his winter coat too and Pattie, the Ranch’s horse riding teacher, has decided now is the perfect time for the girls to learn some bareback riding. Although nervous at first, Maddy bravely joins her confident friend Iris in practising this challenging task, not realising how much her new skill will come in handy when a young foal, Sunny, becomes a runaway.

The Runaway Foal is the second book in the Pine Valley Ponies series which will appeal to young girls who love horses. Humorous, adventurous, and full of Heath McKenzie’s charmingly quirky illustrations, new readers will find this a satisfying story even without reading the first book. Although the text is straight forward, there are still loads of ‘big’ words and it doesn’t talk down to readers. Plenty of information about horses is imparted also.

Simple, fun and easy to read chapters make this good for independent readers.


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