Katy's Wild Foal by Victoria Eveleigh
|Katy's Wild Foal by Victoria Eveleigh|
|Genre: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Eveleigh writes brilliantly about the ponies and life on Exmoor. In the story a child buys a pony without her parents' knowledge and there are no real consequences to this. It wouldn't put me off buying the book - the rest is excellent - but I would want to ensure that the subject of animal care was fully discussed with the young reader. Victoria Eveleigh popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us about why pony books are not just for girls.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 112||Date: February 2012|
|Publisher: Orion Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
It snowed on Katy's birthday but something even more magical was going to happen that day. When she went out onto Exmoor she discovered a tiny newborn foal and its dam. With wobbly steps the foal walked right up to her and she was spellbound. It wasn't easy but she persuaded her father that the mare and foal needed help and he got them some hay. Katy couldn't ride but she still longed for that foal. Katy's Wild Foal is the story of the next year in Katy's life - and the life of the foal - and what a roller coaster it was going to be.
I picked this book up last night - just for a look - and didn't put it down until I finished it. It's admittedly short - with just ninety four pages of text plus a preview of the next book in the series - but I was pulled straight into the life of Barton Farm. April the first might be Katy's birthday but it was lambing and some things don't wait. I fell for Katy too. We can all remember that rather insecure stage where you felt that you had no friends and even when someone did hold out the hand of friendship you wondered if it was genuine. I can remember too the animals in my life and how I felt about them - and that's something that's never really gone away.
The supporting characters all come off the page fully formed - Katy's father isn't actually that keen on the Exmoor ponies - that's down to her grandfather. Her mother is a real farmer's wife and the friend she makes at the local riding school is brilliant. It's the ponies which caught my breath though - the Exmoor foal with it's warm muzzle or the residents of the riding school who taught Katy to ride. There's a real feel too for the moor, its inhabitants and the way of life.
It's a book that's going to be gobbled up by girls in the nine-plus age group and if they've any interest in animals then they're going to love it as much as I did. There was just one point which left me uneasy and that was the fact that Katy bought a pony without her parents' knowledge and without really having any idea of how she would look after it. No lies are told, but there is deceit and I would like to have seen this lead to a consequence of some sort, even if just a strong lecture. Instead it's brushed off almost as a joke: Don't worry, we know all about that... I know that Katy felt very strongly about the fate of the pony but I was uneasy at the thought that children might be left with the impression that an animal can be acquired on a whim and without the means to care for it. It wouldn't put me off giving the book to a child - Victoria Everleigh writes brilliantly about the ponies she obviously loves - but I would want to ensure that the point was fully discussed.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
The Follyfoot series of books by Monica Dickens was republished a couple of years ago and if you enjoy the life of Barton farm then Follyfoot is but a short step away.
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