Friday, April 22, 2011

The Unicorn Princess

The Unicorn Princess
by Babette Cole
Bloomsbury, 2010. 148 pgs. Fiction.

"What if your perfect pony dream came true?" Cole asks at the beginning of this sparkly and sparkling first book in the Fetlocks Hall series. Penny Simms' dream does come true when she is accepted on scholarship to Fetlocks Hall Academy. Penny will miss her family very much, but the chance to ride and care for ponies any day, any time, is too much to resist. As Penny makes rapid progress toward passing her A exam she finds out that not only ponies but unicorns have an interest in Fetlocks Hall and she discovers that if she passes the exam to become a Unicorn Princess, she can help save the Academy from the three wicked pony-abusing brats whose cheating their way into A-exam passage will give them Powers for Evil. As the newly-crowned Unicorn Princess, Penny does all she needs to do to save Fetlocks from the bad kids, but the bad kids' parents were the major donors to the school. Will Fetlocks go under financially? These questions and more will be answered in the next installment of Fetlocks Hall: The Ghostly Blinkers. This book and the series of which it is a part should appeal mightily to pony-crazy little girls, and should appeal as well to their parents as it is much better written than run (you'll excuse the pun)-of-the-mill kids' horse books, with sprightly dialogue, interesting characters, and, of course, talking ponies.

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