The Princess and the Pony

 

Title: The Princess and the Pony
Author/Illustrator: Kate Beaton
Published: Scholastic, 2015

 

There are few things that make Lily laugh harder than adorable animals doing silly things, so when she first heard this story, she immediately fell in love with the roly-poly pony with a flatulence problem. Lily absolutely loves this book. And so do I! It’s hilarious (for many reasons, not just the excess pony gas).

First, just in case you need a refresher, Kate Beaton is the brilliant author/illustrator who gave us King Baby. We still adore that little egg-shaped guy. And we adore Princess Pinecone, the star of The Princess and the Pony, just as much.

The premise of the story is this: Princess Pinecone’s birthday is coming up and she’s really, really hoping for a horse. A big, brave horse. Princess Pinecone is a warrior. She needs a horse befitting her status. (Usually, for her birthday, she gets fuzzy knitted sweaters.)  Unfortunately, Pinecone’s parents dropped the ball. Instead of a strong, awesome warrior horse, they got Pinecone a round pony with eyes that appear to be looking in different directions.

Pinecone decides that maybe the pony can be trained anyway. That doesn’t…go well. On the day of the ‘big battle’ (mostly warriors doing non-violent, spitball-related things to each other), Pinecone arrives with her pony. She’s about to dive into the battling, when one of the warriors comes running at her with what appears to be a pool noodle. Otto the Awful is truly terrifying…until he spots the pony and falls in love. In fact, all the fierce brutes seem to think the pony is absolutely adorable. Pinecone remarks that the battles don’t usually end that way, and Otto tells her that sometimes even tough guys need to express their softer side.

It occurs to Princess Pinecone that she has just the thing to help the warriors: heaps and heaps of knitted sweaters.

She brings the sweaters and hands them out. The warriors all look adorable, and vote Princess Pinecone and the pony the most valuable warriors of the day.

The story is wonderful because:

  1. It’s unique. I love a story that’s unpredictable and totally different from anything else out there.
  2. The art is hilarious. The pony is just perfect. I kind of wish he was real. I’d totally keep a round pony in my backyard.
  3. I like the messages: girls can be warriors, sometimes tough guys have a soft side (people are complicated!), and appreciate your birthday gifts. They might not be what you wanted, but sometimes things work out better than you could’ve imagined.

If you’re in the market for a funny book that your kid will want to read repeatedly, this is the one for you. You’ll love Princess Pinecone and her adorably ovoid pony.