Marguerite Henry was the beloved author of such classic horse stories as King of the Wind; Misty of Chincoteague; and Stormy, Misty's Foal, all of which are available in Aladdin paperback editions.
More than 40 years after the release of the Newbery Honor book Misty of Chincoteague comes Henry's latest novel about the descendants of the famous wild pony. Dr. Sandy Price had been mesmerized by Misty as a child; now living on a horse farm and raising children of her own, she sets her sights on buying some Chincoteague ponies. One of the prize animals that Dr. Price wins at auction is a direct descendant of Misty, and she eventually gives birth to a filly named Twilight. Twi's unusual markings, speed and temperament make it difficult to classify her; but when her talents finally bloom she becomes a dressage champion. Unfortunately this is less a novel than a collection of footnotes to the earlier classic. The plotting here is choppy and forced, and the cardboard characters fail to generate any genuine emotion--despite the overuse of exclamation points throughout. Horse story and Henry fans will be disappointed. Illustrations not seen by PW . Ages 8-12. (June)
Gr 5-8 --Readers will grab this book with high expectations, but the plot won't capture them like the real-life dramas that inspired the previous three Chincoteague stories. Twilight is the great-great-granddaughter of the famous pinto, Misty of Chincoteague (Macmillan, 1990). Sired by a thoroughbred, the delightful pony samples the popular equestrian sports of cutting, jumping, and dressage. Her family, Dr. Sandy Price and her children, Chris and Pam, experience the excitement of Pony Penning Day at Chincoteague, and Twilight personifies the romance of the wild ponies. She is an engaging pony whose spirit is true to her ancestry. The protagonist, Sandy, is a mature woman seeking to live a childhood dream, with Chris and Pam as secondary characters. They're enthusiastic horse lovers, but they can't compare to Paul, Maureen, and Grandpa Beebe. The story repeats Henry's folksy style while it relives the magic of its predecessors. This sequel will suggest a rereading of the earlier books. --Charlene Strickland, formerly at Albuquerque Public Library , NM