Ponyella

By Laura Numeroff; Lynn Munsinger (Illustrator)
(Disney-Hyperion, Hardcover, 9781423102595, 32pp.)

Publication Date: January 2011

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Spring 2011 Kids' Next List
“This is an adorable retelling of Cinderella with a lovely white pony in the title role. When Ponyella's farm is sold to new owners, two mean ponies arrive on the farm and make life miserable for Ponyella. But when Princess Penelope arrives in town, Ponyella gets the chance to escape her sad life. If only Ponyella can win the Tippington 25th Annual Grand Royal Pony Championship, she will belong to the princess and have a chance at 'happily ever after.' With lovely illustrations, this is sure to be a favorite!”
-- Summer Anderson, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA


Description

Which pony does the diamond horseshoe fit? In this clever retelling of Cinderella, Ponyella longs to show Princess Penelope her fabulous leaps and jumps at the Tippington 25th Annual Grand Royal Pony Championship. But Plumpkin and Bun Bun, the mean ponies she shares a farm with, say that Ponyella's farm chores make her too dirty to be a champion. With a little help from Ponyella's fairy godmare, her coat becomes marshmallow white once again, and her mane silky and beautiful. It's love at first sight for Princess Penelope and Ponyella - but what will happen when the magic runs out at noon? From the best-selling author-illustrator team of the What Mommies Do Best/What Daddies Do Best books comes a playful rendition of Cinderella with an original twist!




About the Author

Laura Numeroff (www.lauranumeroff.com) is the widely popular author of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and its companion titles, which have become the favorites not only of parents, but of teachers who love the books' visual elements and domino-effect storylines. Numeroff's other popular titles, What Mommies Do Best/What Daddies Do Best and What Grandpas Do Best/What Grandmas Do Best, are loving paeans to activities shared with adults.



Lynn Munsinger is the illustrator of many popular books for children, including The Teeny Tiny Ghost, Whooo's Haunting The Teeny Tiny Ghost? and The Teeny Tiny Ghost and the Monster by Kay Winters as well as God Bless America by Irving Berlin and Hunter's Best Friend At School by Laura Malone Elliot. She has illustrated the following books by Laura Numeroff: What Mommies Do Best, What Daddies Do Best, What Grandmas Do Best, What Grandpas Do Best, What Aunts Do Best, and Beatrice Doesn't Want To.




Praise For Ponyella

Cinderella gets a peppy makeover in this pony tale from the trio behind the Jellybeans series. Ponyella has an idyllic life until two mean-spirited ponies move onto the farm. While Plumpkin and Bun Bun snicker at her, Ponyella is forced to pull a cart piled with coal, and her white coat "became as gray as a rain cloud." When the haughty ponies are spruced up and taken to the royal pony championship, forlorn Ponyella is visited by her caped "fairy godmare," who turns an apple core into a horse trailer, a mouse into a driver, and the bedraggled pony into a magnificent animal with diamond horseshoes and roses adorning her tail and mane. The frillier moments in Munsinger's pastel-dominated paintings are offset by lightly comedic particulars: Ponyella's human driver still grasps the cheese the mouse was holding, the horses display outsize facial expressions, and the young princess who judges the pony competition in which Ponyella excels-and who finds Ponyella's lost horseshoe--wears a crown on her riding helmet. A sweet, playful adaptation that's just right for the My Little Pony crowd.—PW

Yup, it's what the title suggests-the story of "Cinderella" featuring a pony. When new owners take over the farm, Ponyella acquires two nasty new pasturemates, Bun Bun and Plumpkin, who taunt her and shoulder her aside. Ella's going to be left behind when the wicked ponies head to the Tippington 25th Annual Grand Royal Pony Championship, but with the help of her fairy godmare and a transformed mouse (who's both trailer driver and pony rider), she wows everyone at the show with her talents. She especially impresses Princess Penelope, who afterward comes looking for the talented pony that lost the diamond horseshoe and, finding Ponyella's foot to be a perfect fit, takes her home for a happy-ever-after princess-pony life. While the book occasionally runs a wee bit older than the My Little Pony audience who will most enjoy it (as in the last page, which condemns the mean ponies to entertaining at kids' parties), the concept is pure pony genius and the details enticingly, even somewhat nauseatingly perfect in their targeting; horse-loving kids who've disdained "Cinderella" for its overemphasis on humans will be thrilled that there's finally something worthwhile, in their eyes, at folkloric stake. Munsinger has a light touch in her line-and-watercolor art, keeping tight control over both the pathos of Ponyella's dilemma and the humor of the mean ponies' awfulness, but she also knows what the pony-mad viewers want: lots of flowing mane and tail and prancy elegance (Ponyella's even sporting lovely floral accessories at her most glamorous moments). You might need a select crowd for this, as those not aboard the pony parade may let their displeasure be loudly known, but the pink princess pony fans will greet this with open arms and wonder why it took so long.—BCCB

Pretty white pony Ponyella's idyllic days on the farm come to an end when her owners move away and new owners move in, bringing their disagreeable ponies Plumpkin and Bun Bun with them. Ponyella must haul coal and live in a tiny, smelly stall, and she knows she has no chance of attending the ball...er...the Tippington 25th Annual Grand Royal Pony Championship. Luckily, her fairy "godmare" comes to the rescue, and, dressed in her diamond hooves, Ponyella has a chance to impress the Princess-for here it's not a prince needing a bride but a princess needing a pony. Munsinger's illustrations feature plenty of pink and purple as well as a sweetly dainty pony and princess, so while this twist on Cinderella will probably not appeal to many boys, both the horse-lovers and the princess-lovers will read it happily ever after.—Horn Book

A sugary version of "Cinderella" for the "My Little Pony" (HarperCollins) set. Ponyella, whose coat is as white as a marshmallow, lives happily on her small farm, running and jumping as she pleases. But when the farm is sold, the new owner brings along his ponies, Plumpkin and Bun Bun. Ponyella now has to live in a small, smelly stall and pull a coal-filled cart all day. When it is announced that Princess Penelope is going to pick the winner of the Tippington 25th Annual Grand Royal Pony Championship, the step-ponies are groomed and driven to the show in a fancy trailer. Poor Ponyella, now as gray as a rain cloud from her sooty work, begins to cry. Suddenly, her fairy godmare appears and waves her wand, and Ponyella is beautifully groomed and wearing four diamond horseshoes. Of course, she is the star of the horse show, but when the clock strikes 12, she has to run, leaving a shoe behind so the traditional ending can happen. Munsinger does her best to make this bit of froth look good. Ponyella, Cooper, and the princess are charmingly drawn and the fairy godmare is surrounded with stars and pink cotton-candy clouds. The slight, predictable story may be enjoyed by girls who can't get enough of cutesy horse books, but most readers would be better off with one of the many other excellent versions of the story.—SLJ

This pony version of the traditional Cinderella story is bound to appeal to horse lovers. The unfortunate Ponyella loves her farm and jumping more than anything else. But her life changes dramatically when the farm is sold and Bun Bun and Plumpkin arrive. Suddenly, her stall is minuscule and she spends her days pulling a coal cart. Her hopes rise with talk of Princess Penelope and the Tippington 25th Annual Grand Royal Pony Championship, but the two newcomers soon dash them. Leave it to Ponyella's fairy godmare to save the day, diamond horseshoes and all. Happy endings abound and Bun Bun and Plumpkin even get their comeuppance in a satisfying ending. Munsinger's softly colored watercolor illustrations portray Ponyella as a gorgeous white pony, while Bun Bun and Plumpkin are the epitome of "horse-faced." There is very little to surprise anybody here, the lockstep translation of the fairy tale entirely predictable and festooned with horsey details. That doesn't mean it won't have readers: Horse lovers and libraries who serve them won't want to miss this one.—Kirkus

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