Title: My Chincoteague Pony
Author and Illustrator: Susan Jeffers
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level: 3.5
Concepts: saving, auctions
Review: Julie has dreamed of owning a pony for years. When she was old enough, Julie started to do extra chores on the family’s dairy farm in order to save money for buying a pony at the annual auction in Chincoteague Island. At the auction, she spotted a black and white filly that seemed to call out to Julie. But alas, the filly and all the other ponies were auctioned off to other bidders with more money than her. Julie would have returned home without her dream horse were it not for a stroke of fate that re-opened the bidding and the generosity of the strangers sitting around her.
Mixed into the main story are some important lessons in economics about saving money and the use of auctions. Adding to the appeal is an interesting account of Chincoteague Island’s annual round-up of wild ponies on neighboring Assateague Island in order to manage the size of the herd and to prevent over-grazing. The eye-catching watercolor paintings and the substantive content will surely draw a readership that goes far beyond horse lovers.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children