Pony Party (Pyjama Gang) by P J Denton

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Pony Party (Pyjama Gang) by P J Denton

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Another sleepover for the four girls finds them learning how to ride and look after a pony. It's a well-designed book for the early reader but is unlikely to appeal to boys.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 96 Date: January 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books
ISBN: 978-1847385345

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We first met the Pyjama Gang in Keeping Secrets when the four friends, Jo, Emily, Kara and Taylor organised a sleepover at Jo's house. This time the sleepover is at Emily's place and she has a big surprise for her friends – a pony is coming to the party! Emily is excited – actually, she's overexcited – at the prospect of Ladybug arriving and the girls being shown how to ride and care for the animal, but her friends don't seem quite so interested. Emily becomes more and more bossy but when the pony arrives it's Em who has the most trouble riding her.

This is a delightful little book for girls in the five plus age group who are just mastering reading. Don't even think about the book for a boy – they're just not going to be interested. The book is short at 96 pages with clear text which is broken up by occasional pictures. The chapters are of the ideal length and the emerging reader is going to get a real sense of achievement at having got a book under their belt. It's a reasonable book to read to a child, but its real purpose is to encourage the skill of reading.

There's a gentle moral in each of these stories and they're all situations which will be familiar to girls in this age group and this book illustrates the need for a little give and take between friends. It's done with a very light hand though – there's humour and it all folds neatly into a story with good pace that's going to hold a child's interest. The vocabulary is slightly challenging in places and some of the American terminology might not be familiar to a non-American child.

There are some extras at the back of the books – in this case there are ideas for themes for a sleepover, but they're only short and I'd expect any child with some imagination to be able to come up with ideas of their own.

The book is unlikely to become a favourite but is a reasonable early reader and if your child is interested in horses and ponies could well be a good investment. It's certainly worth borrowing from the library.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

Boys at this stage will certainly enjoy My Brother's Hot Cross Bottom by Jeremy Strong. The next step along from this book could well be The Space Brigade and the Petrifying Problem with Princess Petronella by L M Moriarty which is longer but equally accessible to the young reader.

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Buy Pony Party (Pyjama Gang) by P J Denton at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Pony Party (Pyjama Gang) by P J Denton at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Pony Party (Pyjama Gang) by P J Denton at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Pony Party (Pyjama Gang) by P J Denton at Amazon.com.


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