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Ponyella    by Laura Numeroff, Nate Evans & Lynn Munsinger order for
by Laura Numeroff
Order:  USA  Can
Hyperion, 2011 (2011)
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

What if Cinderella were a pony? Would her story still be as wonderful? Of course it would, as you'll see when you read this very special picture book.

Ponyella enjoyed a wonderful life until her owner sold the farm she lived on. Along with new management came two new stepmares and they were both rather nasty critters. They made fun of Ponyella and made her do all the work around the farm.

Her nice white coat became dark and covered with dirt and her mane was all tangled. She wasn't allowed to do any jumping any more and she was once a very accomplished jumper. Life was pretty miserable for the little pony.

Then one day it was announced that Princess Penelope was going to select a pony during the Tippington 25th Annual Grand Royal Pony Championship to be her very own royal pony. Of course, Ponyella's two stablemates were going and they both, of course, were hoping to be selected as the princess' special steed.

Poor Ponyella, naturally, would have to stay home. But when her fairy godmare appears, all that changes. Suddenly the pony's coat is marshmallow white again and her mane silky. Off she goes to the championship where she wows Princess Penelope with her fantastic jumping ability.

Unfortunately, there's a wee problem, though. At the stroke of high noon the little pony switches back to a filthy work animal, so she flees the event. But she does leave behind a sparking diamond horseshoe.

I think you can guess how this equine version of Cinderella ends. Young readers age four and up (especially girls) will love this reworking of the famous princess story. The art is excellent and the clever storyline will put a smile on any little pony lover's face. And, yes, Ponyella does live happily ever after.

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