Tilly's Pony Tails: Neptune the Heroic Horse by Pippa Funnell

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Tilly's Pony Tails: Neptune the Heroic Horse by Pippa Funnell

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A book for horse mad young girls and in the upper end of the early readers. It's a good story which is likely to be reread.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 112 Date: July 2010
Publisher: Orin Children's Books
ISBN: 978-1444000825

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Tilly has recently been reunited with her brother – they know nothing of their birth mother and were adopted by different families – and she's just been invited to go on holiday to Cornwall with him and his family. It will mean leaving the horses and ponies at the local stables but she's sure that they'll all manage without her for a week. Once in Cornwall she's delighted to find that there's a riding stable nearby and she soon makes friends, particularly with a horse called Neptune. She also meets a girl called Megan who loves swimming, but can't understand why Megan is frightened of horses and doesn't want to learn to ride, despite the encouragement she gets from her parents.

If you've any interest in horses you'll know the name of Olympic medallist Pippa Funnell. She knows her animals and knows exactly how they can come to dominate the life of a young girl. The Tilly's Pony Tails series is her debut as a writer of children's fiction and each book in the series reads well as a standalone book. That's not to say that you won't be nagged into buying more, but marketing for other books in the series is minimal and appropriate.

It's a good story, too. Tilly is the sort of girl which the readers are going to bond with. She's athletic, kind and considerate of others and brave when the chips are down. It is a story which will appeal more to girls than to boys, despite the presence of her brother in the story, but it's not a book where boys would feel the need to look the other way!

I am just a little concerned at the age group to which this book is being marketed. It has the look and presentation of an early reader, with ten chapters spread over a hundred and ten pages and most (but not all) double spreads having some form of illustration. An eight-year old of my acquaintance was ready to dismiss the book because she was 'past them now', but enjoyed the story when persuaded to read it. She would have appreciated something a little meatier, but did like the tips for budding equestriennes. It would be great to see Pippa tackle a longer story with a little more depth.

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

Horse-mad young girls will also enjoy Follyfoot by Monica Dickens, Nobody's Horse by Jane Smiley and Chancey by Gigi Amateau.

Buy Tilly's Pony Tails: Neptune the Heroic Horse by Pippa Funnell at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Tilly's Pony Tails: Neptune the Heroic Horse by Pippa Funnell at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Tilly's Pony Tails: Neptune the Heroic Horse by Pippa Funnell at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Tilly's Pony Tails: Neptune the Heroic Horse by Pippa Funnell at Amazon.com.


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