I received this in August, kindly sent to me by the publisher (read to the end for a special giveaway!). I read and reviewed all of the other Katy books a few years ago now, and was excited to hear there was to be a fourth (because if there are four, there are going to be more, right – and this isn’t one of those series written by multiple authors; all of the books are by the very lovely Victoria Eveleigh).
So, the Katy books are about a young teen and her growing stable of Exmoor ponies. She’s a countryside girl, growing up on a farm and learning about farm life and taking on new responsibilities there as the series progresses – here she’s carefully matching up lambs with their mothers and keeping an eye on various aspects, as well as looking after her own ponies.
The multi-tasking challenge is one that she has to face, but also the tricks that she’s been teaching Tinkerbell the cheeky foal are suddenly not so cute as Tinkerbell grows in size and strength and starts demanding those treats. Can Katy swallow her pride and ask someone more expert for help with her foal before she ruins her? There’s also the problem of what to do about her best friend, Alice, more distanced now she’s away at school much of the time, but obviously not coping well with the stresses of having a new super show-jumping pony to compete with, whatever her Facebook page might suggest (Eveleigh weaves just the right number of modern touches into what is essentially – and joyfully – a traditional pony book).
New aspects are also introduced into this book, carefully and cleverly in a subtle way. Dean at the stables has got into a rather odd thing called Pony Agility (think Dog Agility – honest!) and Katy learns a few pony training pointers having a go at that, and she meets a new neighbour, James, who has autism but turns out to enjoy helping out at the farm. He’s well and sensitively drawn, and it’s nice to see how his actions and reactions are accepted for what they are, and the positives he brings are celebrated but in a practical and down to earth way.
Lessons are learned, friendships are celebrated, and it’s another quiet winner with the usual charming illustrations.
This book will suit … any pony-mad teen or tween; people like me who love the traditional pony books – no sparkles or magic here, but a lovely feeling and good writing.
I accidentally received two copies of this book, so I have one available to give away. Pop a comment on this post if you want to be included in the draw, and I’ll do a random name drawing after a week. I’ll be sending surface mail outside the UK, but the competition is open to all. It would be LOVELY if you could promise to review the book on your own blog and/or Amazon when you receive and read it!