I went to the front desk at our local library, to pick up a stack of books that they were holding for me, while the kids headed off to the children’s section to search for their own selections. When I found them, Madeline was holding Molly the Pony in her hands. She asked if we could get it.
With her own library card. Because now that we’re entering Kindergarten, she has her own.
Just stop the growing up already.
I looked at the book and said “of course,” and asked if there was anything else that she saw she liked. Then she came back to me and said she wasn’t sure about getting the book, because maybe it was sad.
And given the cover picture, I completely understood her hesitation.
But I told her that I’m sure everything in the story would end up ok and let’s just go for it.
So we did.
And man, what an awesome book.
Based on a true story, by the way.
Molly the pony was on her family’s farm, and they were scurrying around, getting ready for the approaching Hurricane Katrina. They secured her in the barn and left the property.
Days later, they hadn’t returned and she was still there.
Luckily some locals noticed that the entrance to the barn was blocked by a fallen tree, and when they went to investigate further, they saw the pony inside. They worked to remove the tree, and help Molly, taking her back to their own stable so they could properly care for her.
Since she had been alone for so long, she needed extra food and plenty of TLC.
One day, while she was out in the field, a stray dog came up and started messing around with her. She tried to get him away, but not before he bit her on the leg.
The injury turned out to be so bad that a portion of her leg had to be amputated.
She certainly had quite the hard life, doesn’t she?
After her leg had a chance to heal from the surgery, she was outfitted with a prosthetic. Once she began to get more and more comfortable with the prosthetic, she ended up becoming a therapy animal, going to visit sick children and the elderly in hospitals to cheer them up.
I find that when I’m reading a lot of books, I sometimes change the words as I’m reading them, putting in words that I think would sound better. Or words that are more appropriate for my five-year-old audience.
I didn’t do that with this book. And what I really liked about the book is that it didn’t shy away from using bigger words. It would just use the bigger word (prosthetic, for example), and then in the next line, it would explain what it meant.
Which is pretty awesome. I don’t want to read a book that is dumbed down. I’d much rather read something to Madeline that has a storyline and words that she understands easily, with a few bonus, more challenging words thrown in for good measure.
Although you certainly felt for the challenges that Molly was enduring, it had such a sweet ending and outcome, you couldn’t help but smile at the end of it.
And given that Madeline has pretty much dedicated the rest of her life to saving, helping, and working with animals, it was the perfect book for her.
Tomorrow? Gywneth and meatballs.
Hungry for more children’s book reviews?
Professor Wormbog and the Zipperump-a-Zoo was a recent read from Mercer Mayer and it had gorgeous pictures throughout.
Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun is all about embracing the different.
The Kissing Hand is a favorite classic, and is perfect especially if your little one is just starting school.
If I Could Keep You Little is one of my favorites, and a wonderful reminder on how quickly this time goes.
A Bad Case of Stripes is a run, lively, colorful story that your kids will love.