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Surprisingly Good Picture Book Find

I checked out some books from the library to read to my youngers so they could finish the summer reading program, and I picked out old familiar ones that I knew they would enjoy and I would, too.  I got several Eric Carle books.  We always like those.  I hadn’t read them to my little ones yet, so I knew it would be fresh for them.  I read Eric Carle’s The Very Busy Spider and The Very Lonely Firefly to them.  They enjoyed them, and I enjoyed their interest and excitement, so we were having a very nice reading time together.  Even Emma and Abby were listening pretty well.

Then I started reading My Chincoteague Pony by Susan Jeffers.  I have seen her name before, and it sounded familiar, so I assumed that she was a good picture book writer.  I read the note from the author to myself, then I read the letter she received from Marguerite Henry, who wrote the original Chincoteague pony books,  Misty and Stormy, etc.  As I read these introductory notes, I began to realize that this was more than a cutesy little story about a pony.  I just glanced at the synopsis and noticed that the story was about a little girl wanting to buy a pony really bad but not having enough money.  Then people around her started giving her money.  That was enough to make me anxious to read the story.  I didn’t want to spoil it by reading any more of the introductory note.  I dove into the story with excitement to see what would happen.   The pictures were warm and homey-feeling.  Her ponies were cute and cuddly-looking.  But the story itself was heart-warming.  The girl in the story wanted to buy a pony at the auction on Chincoteague Island in July, so she did all kinds of jobs to earn money throughout the year.  When she got to the auction, she kept bidding, but the price always went too high.  Then a woman next to her told her not to give up and handed her some money.  The girl’s mother started to object, then a little boy handed her some money, too.  Several people did.  She realized that she might have enough for the next pony, but they were all taken already.  Then one pony was returned.  The auctioneer looked straight at her, she raised her hand, and she got the pony she had wanted all along.  It was so well-told that it made me cry.

I won’t tell you the next part, so that you’ll have something to look forward to.  It’s really wonderful, too.  I love stories about people helping others.

I sure didn’t expect a picture book about a pony to make me cry!  One of the older kids (they all listen when I read) asked if that was a true story.  I told her that it was.  We all had a nice, warm feeling inside after hearing that story.  I was so happy to have accidentally discovered such a sweet, caring story among all of the picture books in the library.

Here’s where you can get it:

I plan to check out more of Susan Jeffers’ books now.  I’ll let you know what I find.

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