23rd August '18
‘The Pony With No Name,’ is the first book in a delightful new series the ‘Seaview Stables Adventures,’ from the brilliant Tracey Corderoy. For me there is a real gap in the market between first chapter books and full blown middle grade stories, so it was really interesting to get my hands on a story which bridges this gap wonderfully. When Bryony May has to move house, to live by the se,a she is distraught at leaving everyone behind – her school friends and her beloved horses at her local riding stables. She is anxious about making new friends and trying to adjust to her new life after the death of her Dad, whilst trying to protect her Mum by hiding her unhappiness. But fate lends a hand and one day while exploring the woods, Bryony discovers a beautiful pony who has been spooked. When she manages to calm him down she feels an instant connection with this pony, who like her, has sadness behind his eyes. Unable to stop thinking about the pony, she can’t believe her luck when she spots an advert from a lady looking for help with her daughter’s new pony. Her joy is soon halted when she meets the pony’s owner Georgina who doesn’t care about him at all, in fact she hasn’t even given him a name. Worst of all Georgina is determined to keep Bryony away from her pony, how can she ever get close to the pony she loves again?
Tracey has created a truly charming story which will leave readers pining for more. Her writing is so beautifully descriptive and engaging, so much so that when I sat down to write this review I had to go back and check that the story wasn’t illustrated as I could see it so clearly in my mind. You can feel the uneven surface of the cobbled streets beneath your feet, smell the sea air tingling your nose and you can see the peach and lilac sunset in the sky. I loved the bond between Bryony and Red, the feelings that they have in common and how they both offer hope to each other of a new future. The dynamics and ups and downs of friendship are considered and explored carefully. We see the power Georgina has over Bryony and her friend Emma and how she uses her wealth and privilege to control them both. We’re also shown the power of friendship and how it can give you the courage to be yourself and stand up for who you are and what you believe in. Dealing sensitively with grief and the difficulties for children in dealing with big changes in their lives, it’s a really thoughtful story. It offers the perfect mix of friendship and a truly enjoyable adventure, I can see it being hugely appealing.