Amy lives and breathes horses, but all her horses are in books or in her head. When Amy goes on a picnic with her friend Hannah’s family and hears a horse neigh nearby, Hannah thinks Amy is imagining things. But then Hannah hears a neigh, too! What is a horse doing in the park? With a little help from Mona at the Rainbow Street Shelter, Amy makes sure the horse is safe and sound. She almost hopes the owner never turns up, so that she can keep visiting the pony . . .
Amy and Hannah don’t know it, but two thieves have horesenapped Midnight and his companion, Pebbles. To cover their crime, the thieves disguised Midnight, then leave Pebbles in the forest! Left alone, Pebbles is hot and hungry. He wonders if anyone will find him.
Stolen! A Pony Called Pebbles will steal the hearts of anyone who loves horses. The beginning of the book alternates between Amy’s and Pebbles’ perspectives. While some readers will have some difficulty with the transitions, the changing point of view creates suspense. Plus, Amy is a relatable and likable protagonist who dreams of owning a horse, even though the dream is completely unrealistic for her family. When Amy finds the horsenapped Pebbles, her kindness shines. Amy’s story highlights the importance of doing what is right, even if the act is not rewarded.
Younger readers may need help with some of the more difficult vocabulary. However, the short chapters, large font, and illustrations make Stolen! A Pony Called Pebbles a good choice for reading to your child. Large black-and-white illustrations appear every 2 to 3 pages. The illustrations will help readers visualize the characters as well as understand the plot.
In Stolen! A Pony Called Pebbles, Amy, and her friend are kind and obedient animal-loving characters. When Amy tries to help Pebbles free himself from barbed wire, she is afraid. Despite this, Amy “was still trying to sound calm, but her voice was squeaky and her hands were trembling. . .She was never going to be able to help this horse if she kept crying.” Amy realizes that in order to help Pebbles, the horse will need to trust her. Amy’s actions help save Pebbles and reunite him with his human family. In the end, Amy’s dream comes true in an unexpected way. The sweet conclusion will leave readers with a smile and fill their nighttime dreams with horses.
- Midnight and his companion horse, Pebbles, are horsenapped. “Before the stallion knew what was happening, a rope had been thrown around his neck and looped over his nose into a halter. . . . The horse’s eyes rolled with fear.”
Drugs and Alcohol
- One of the thieves calls Midnight a “black devil.”