Pony Island Hardcover
Authors, Candice Ransom and Candice F. Ransom
The famous wild ponies of Assateague and Chincoteague Island, presented in stunning technicolor.
Centuries ago, a Spanish shipwreck left dozens of horses stranded on Assateague Island, off the coast of Virginia. For years they were free to roam on their new island home without human contact, until the neighboring island, Chincoteague, suffered a series of fires that devastated the town. The volunteer firefighters held a special event to raise money for a new fire truck, and so began the Wild Pony Swim that continues to this day. This unique American tradition recounted in pitch-perfect rhyme will engage the youngest of readers. These world-famous ponies captured in bright, dynamic colors will sure appeal to any horse lover.
Age Range: 4 - 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Walker Childrens (March 31, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 9.8 x 0.4 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review:
2.5 out of 5 stars
School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3—The mere bones of the Chincoteague ponies' story is related in brief rhymes. The text touches only slightly on their arrival on the island; without the concluding author's note, readers will be bewildered. Zahares's glowing oil pastels extend and explain through images what Ransom only hints at. Full spreads present a detailed and exciting background for the sometimes-forced rhymes. It is hard to pinpoint the audience for this book, as the text seems suited for preschoolers while it will take older and more astute readers to decipher the meaning of the poetry. Fans of Marguerite Henry's Misty of Chincoteague (S & S, 2006) will pick this up, and it would make a nice unit filler paired with Jim Arnosky's Wild Ponies (National Geographic, 2002) and Susan Jeffers's My Chincoteague Pony (Hyperion, 2008), but it doesn't stand on its own.—Angela J. Reynolds, Annapolis Valley Regional Library, Bridgetown, NS, Canada
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Centuries ago, according to legend, shipwrecks left horses stranded on Assateague Island. This picture book briefly tells their story, concentrating on the first pony penning when residents of a nearby island (Chincoteague, Virginia) raised money for their fire department by rounding up ponies, driving them across the sound, and selling them. With highly simplified forms and vivid color combinations, the striking illustrations are most effective when viewed from a little distance. The verse text uses short, staccato phrases such as “Stragglers ready. / Check the tide. / Stick not moving. / Cowboys ride!” Adults would be well advised to read the appended author’s note first, as it offers useful background information and explains confusing details, such as the stick in the passage quoted above: the horses are driven across the sound during slack tide, “determined when a stick tossed in the water stops moving.” The book concludes with useful lists of suggested books and Web sites. Kids will be riveted. Preschool-Grade 2. --Carolyn Phelan