Saturday, 4 February 2012

Review: CHRISTINE - I Want That Pony!

I Want That Pony! is the first in the book in the Sophy series. It was first published in 1993, making it one of the last books she wrote. It is also quite a hard to find book, and is the hardest to find in the series.

Because of the short nature of the series (there are only about 46 pages) and the fact it is aimed at young children than most of Christine's books, there is a great difficulty in reviewing this book without giving away the story.

The blurb reads:-

Sophy is desperate to own Flash, the pony that lives down the lane. But Flash already has an owner: he belongs to Alison, who loves her pony very much, and would never dream of selling him. Who will win the battle over Flash?

Sophy is the ultimate 8 year old dream, although pony less, she is inevitably pony mad. She thinks she has it all, a pony who loves her, although she has it all spoilt by Alison, Flash's true owner.  Because of this I think it is more aimed at the average 8 year old who wants to read it alone rather than the pony book buying adult or the pony book collector.

Like the Candy series, there is not much depth to the characters due to the short nature of the story. We do see a bit more character in the main person than in the Candy series, but not enough to go into deep depths. A lot of it is due to the short nature of the books, and consequently of the series in general.

To be honest, I find this book hard to review. Why? Because of the ending. It feels like Sophy is being rewarded for doing bad things i.e. lying to her parents and also feeding another pony, which is an ultimate no-no.  She gets rewarded by having riding lessons, rather than being left to stew and reflect of her own actions.

Unlike the Candy series, there is a moralistic point of view across this book, and the whole of the series in general. However unlike the Candy series there is an enemy in the form of Alison, Flash's true owner, and without giving the book away (or indeed the series), there is an enemy throughout subsequent books.

I apologise somewhat for making comparisons with the Candy series, but I found this hard to review.  I find that comparison with the Candy series an direct, fair and accurate one, because they are both more firmly aimed at the same market ie children and not adults. They are both aimed at the 8 year old.

The book is illustrated. It is illustrated by Gilly Markew, and an example of an illustration is below. In the book there is a mixture of black and white illustrations. I find Gilly Markew's illustrations nicely drawn, well thought out and relevant to the bits of the story she is trying to portray.