The Christmas Pony
Sylvia Green, il. Sharon Scotland
"Of course you can't have a pony for Christmas, Laura. We couldn't possibly afford one." Dad looked determined.
Poor old Dad. You know his determination is that of the doomed pony parent. The elderly neighbor who owns Mr. Crumbs is moving to
Mr. Crumbs tossed his head, shaking his long mane, and blew gently through his nostrils. Laura couldn't imagine life without him.
The writing is very simple, the plot lacks urgency, but children's fundraising efforts are believable and sensible. The book seems aimed at children who are just past the beginner reader stage.
Mr. Crumbs - 18-year-old palomino pony
The Best Christmas Ever (cat)
The Best Dog In The World
Christmas Quackers (duck)
The Soft-Hearted Sheepdog
The Lonely Chick
The Christmas Wish (donkey)
Green is English, and the while the book is non-specific about exactly where it's taking place, there is a vague, indescribable Englishness about it. This sort of thing always fascinates me about English-language books, even those which aren't deliberately trying to be generic enough to appeal to a wider audience. It's usually possible to realize from the writing alone that a writer is American or English or Canadian or Australian*. The slang, the choice of character names and, of course, the biases and prejudices we all enjoy. My favorite is the phrase "North America," which is almost always a big red (maple leafed) flag that you're currently enjoying the writing of a Canadian author.
* Yes, I realize I left out the Irish and the Scots, but it's a lot harder, generally, to make that distinction so I've lumped them in with the English.