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Posts Tagged ‘horses’

Mini Whinny by Stacy Gregg, illus. Ruth Paul.

October 26, 2018 Comments off

mini whinny.jpgMini Whinny by Stacy Gregg, illus. Ruth Paul. Pub. Scholastic, 2018.

Cute little pony Mini Whinny has never had a birthday of her own simply because she is a horse. You see all horses have the same birthday on August 1st. I think it is to do with the racing industry.

As all the horses in the stable prepare for the big day Mini Whinny sulks, rolls in the mud and feels sorry for herself. Come the night when all the other horses are fast asleep Mini Whinny decides to have a party of her own.

Catastrophe! What will all the other horses say and do? Not to fear, Palomina Mini’s mum has the solution. Read it and find out what.

Stacy Gregg knows horses and while this is her first picture book the text is full of horse sense. Ruth Paul is an accomplished illustrator and she captures the essence of horse to a T. Mini Whinny will make you go aaaah. The eyes of the horses are particularly attractive, the horse does have the biggest eye of all the land animals.

For children 3-7 mainly girls I would suggest but you never know. Good read-a-loud.

Fire Stallion by Stacy Gregg.

September 18, 2018 Comments off

fire stallionFire Stallion by Stacy Gregg. Pub. HarperCollins, 2018.

This is the best Stacy Gregg book about girls and horses yet. It has everything – action, two horses, history in a wonderful place, a film set, romance, transmogrification and the line “she swept into the stable like she was walking onto a yacht”. You can’t beat that Carly Simon.

Set in Iceland where the horses are pure bred and been untainted for more than 1000 years. No other horses are allowed in Iceland and if an Icelandic horse leaves the county it can’t get back in again.

Brunhilda is an Icelandic legendary warrior Queen and 14 year old Hilly and her mother are on a Hollywood film set in Iceland making a film of her life. A Hollywood starlet named Jamisen has the part of Brunhilda and Hilly is her stunt double doing all the horse riding scenes. Jamisen is true brat pack and her male lead man is a Justin Bieber double named Anders Mortenson. Romance looms and there is a wedding but between whom?

Hilly is advised by a cultural adviser in Norse affairs named Gudrun who has the power to send Hilly back in time into the body of the real Brunhilda.

The action is stunning and the horse talk endless. Strong girls confront the male opinion of “a man should be in control, it’s the natural order of things”

A wonderful story, spellbinding in parts which takes fans of Stacy Gregg forward in age a little into the puberty thing. Intermediate and junior high school kids will love it and I suspect younger girl readers will prise it out of your hands given a chance. Boys should give it a crack too the action is brilliant

Watch Me! by Jenni Francis.

April 7, 2018 Comments off

watch meWatch Me! by Jenni Francis. Pub. jennifrancis.com  2018

The most recent short novel for intermediate and junior secondary girls from the Keri series about Keri and her friend Mereana who are now 13 years old.

The girls go to visit cousin Claire on a farm that runs horse trekking holidays as well as stocking sheep and cattle. Someone is stealing horses sheep and cattle from Claire’s farm and from surrounding farms and the girls are going to become involved.

It is not the only drama in the book as Claire has found lumps under her arm and has bad sweats in bed at night but this is not going to hold her back.

As usual this short novel is tightly written with realistic dialogue between the girls and other characters. It has great family values and is written at a pace that keeps you in the book.

Who would have thought that Morse Code would be still useful in these days of cell phones. Read it and find out why. Lots of horse talk.

The Thunderbolt Pony by Stacy Gregg.

September 21, 2017 Comments off

thunderbolt ponyThe Thunderbolt Pony by Stacy Gregg. Pub. HarperCollins, 2017.

If you are a fan of Stacy Gregg’s horse and girl stories then I don’t need to tell you how good this latest novel is. If not read and learn.

Evie has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, OCD as a result of severe trauma caused by the Canterbury and Kaikoura Earthquakes. She takes responsibility on board and feels responsible for the aftershocks unless she goes through a number of routines. Of course this is nonsense but the sense of anxiety for Evie is real.

When Evie’s house is destroyed by the Kaikoura earthquake and her mother is airlifted out with a broken leg and pelvis, Evie travels through the earthquake ravaged land between Parnassus and Kaikoura to meet the naval ship HMS Canterbury.

Her companions on this journey are her Arab pony Gus, her border collie Jock and her Cornish red cat Moxy. They are a tight group with the animals just as traumatised by the earthquakes and aftershocks as Evie is.

The journey is riveting, dramatic and accurately described by Stacy Gregg. I lived through the Canterbury earthquakes and aftershocks and remember the roar they gave and the shaking which will stay with me forever.

It is said that 4 out of every 5 children who experienced the quakes still have anxiety disorders and Stacy Gregg analyses this traumatic effect on children through Evie’s OCD. Evie has to understand that it is not her fault and with the help of a therapist and her animals she comes to terms with it.

References to the heroes of the Greek legends make for an interesting link up.

Stacy Gregg’s other titles are reviewed elsewhere on this blog.

The Diamond Horse by Stacy Gregg.

November 3, 2016 Comments off

diamond-horseThe Diamond Horse by Stacy Gregg. Pub.HarperCollins, 2016.

Anna Orlev lives in Tsarist Russia when Catherine the Great is Empress. Her father was given an estate by Empress Catherine an estate where wild animals were free to run. Anna has a Siberian tiger and a borzoi wolfhound as companions but her greatest love is a half Arabian, half Siberian stallion called Drakon or dragon. She hid the colt from her ruthless father Count Orlov and from her crazy brother Ivan and  establishes the famous Russian horse breed the Orlov Trotter.

Anna’s mother died of a fever when she was 9 years old and on her deathbed gave Anna a black diamond teardrop necklace. This necklace has a power to show the past, present and future but it is the stone that decides what she will see.

Through the necklace she becomes aware of the second girl in this story, Valentina, a girl who works in today’s world as a circus performer. Valentina has cruel characters to contend with and runs away with her pink horse Sacha and joins the Russian Federation international showjumping team.

The horses and the girls are linked. Read it and find out how.

Beautifully written and conceived by Stacy Gregg. Her descriptions of Russia in the winter,  all the characters of Tsarist Russia and the circus are amazing. Some may say the books are formulaic and to a certain degree they are  but Stacy Gregg’s research into her topic and her knowledge of horses is stunning. Her descriptive prose is outstanding.

Lots of drama and adventure in this novel for horse lovers of all ages but particularly of primary, intermediate and junior secondary age.

Starlight Stables Bk.4: Saving Starlight by Soraya Nicholas

July 21, 2016 Comments off

saving starlightStarlight Stables Bk.4: Saving Starlight by Soraya Nicholas. Pub. Puffin Books,imprint penguin Random house, 2016.

This fourth part about a horse riding stable has the same quality and values as the previous three which are reviewed on this blog. Set in Australia and mainly written for horse crazy girls and there are a lot of them, this continues the story of Poppy, Milly and Katie and their horses Crystal, Joe and Cody.

Aunt Sophie and Uncle Mark have financial worries after a sponsor hits hard times. Starlight Stables is under threat. The girls have a competition of their own and Aunt Sophie is riding for an Olympic place at an event in Melbourne on her impressive horse Jupiter.

The girls want to help save Starlight and poppy wants to do well at her role of groom for Aunt Sophie’s horse Jupiter. What will happen if the stables go broke?  Will the impressive colt Prince have to be sold?  Will the girls be able to hold on to their horses? Read it and find out.

Starlight Stables Bk.3 Bush Bolts by Soraya Nicholas.

July 20, 2016 Comments off

bush boltsStarlight Stables Bk.3 Bush Bolts by Soraya Nicholas. Pub. Penguin Random House, 2016.

Poppy and her two horse riding friends Milly and Katie return to Starlight stables for a long weekend but this time they have another companion who doesn’t share their fanatical love of horses.

Her name is Sarah and she was a good friend to Poppy when her father died and her mother was grieving badly. poppy badly wants Sarah to love horses like she does but that is a big ask. However Sarah has other qualities as a friend and a human being especially her love for all animals.

Starlight Stables is tinder dry and bush fires are a threat. While out riding the girls come under threat from a lightening storm that threatens catastrophe. Read the rest and find out what happens.

The other Starlight books are on this blog and the author can be reached at http://www.sorayanicholas.com