April 2014, Orion Children's, 128 pages, Paperback, Review copy
Themes: ponies, competitions, showjumping, dressage, cross country, pony mad, dealing with different personalities, character clashes, feeling like the world is crazy, sensible/slightly obsessive parents
Content: Some humour and tension,
Summary from Orion
First of four brand new stories about horse whisperer Tilly Redbrow and her beautiful grey, Magic Spirit, packed with expert advice by top event rider and GRAND SLAM winner, Pippa Funnell.
Tilly Redbrow doesn't just love horses - she lives, breathes and dreams them too!
Tilly is fourteen now and has had her beautiful grey, Magic Spirit, for over three years and they're inseparable. She's thrilled they've been chosen for the Pony Club Eventing Championship team. Together with Ben, Kya and Anna - they face the challenges of dressage, cross country and show jumping against tough competition. And they learn that good teamwork is not always as easy as it looks.
I'm not a horse lover in real life - they are waaaay bigger than me, too far off the ground, and can do some damage,but I adore them in stories. I'm sure my horse mad friends will explain the difference between horses and ponies to me, but I'm not bothered as they all have 4 legs, a tail and a mane. I doubt Tilly would be tempted to say 'cross country racing thingies' in the themes section of a book review like I wanted to. She understands all the horsey jargon (for which in the proof copy there wasn't a glossary, which along with me feeling cross-eyed once or twice through not understanding the way certain events occurred is why I didn't give a perfect grade...to be fair I was tired when I read this so most descriptions of anything unknown and even known can be taxing).
Tilly's love of Magic Spirit is mega strong, unlike those friendship bonds she has with her new team. It was hard watching her having to deal with people whose habits were a bit undesirable, and a stuck up madam whose final advice I thought was bogus but ended up being ok-clearly I was making her into a mega mean girl instead of just a starlet deprived of the spotlight. I liked how Tilly's parents were down to earth and made sure she ate right on competition day. The way Tilly was pony made and found boy talk boring made me cheer because there is far more to life than them. She really struggles with her own reaction to other peoples' attitudes, but manages to figure it out eventually in a way that had me grinning. Regardless of whether you are pony mad or not, this is a fun read.
Find out more on the dedicated website.
For more pony drama check out Katy's Wild Foal by Victoria Eveleigh (Children's, 7 years +, 10E/10E)