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Pidgy's Surprise Review by Lori Hooten and Jennifer Ladewig

Jeanne Mellin
Willow Bend Publishing
(413) 268-3461
P.O. Box 304
Goshen, MA 01032

Captivating. Imaginative. Full of adventure and excitement. These are the things that keep us reading. Pidgy's Surprise by Jeanne Mellin has them all.

As all little girls seem to do, Cindy Sawyer loves horses. She has an adventurous pony named Pidgy and Pidgy has always been a lot of fun. But Cindy dreams of owning a real horse, not a pony. Dreams of beautifully stunning horses that will turn heads and be faster than any other horse fill Cindy's days so much that she no longer appreciates what she does have.

Cindy promises to try not to daydream about horses and to focus on the joy of owning Pidgy, but it is so hard. When the Country Club has a horse show, it does help Cindy appreciate Pidgy a bit more. Especially after Pidgy wins a ribbon. Summer closes with joy and fun as Cindy and Pidgy begin to have adventures once more. Until one day when Pidgy's ability to escape her stall leaves an empty horse barn with no Pidgy and no sign of her anywhere. Cindy is devastated. Will she get to see her Pidgy again?

Jeanne Mellin authored this story in 1955. After going out of print for a while, it was brought back and republished in 2011. This is a beautifully written and illustrated story from an equine author and artist. The illustrations are stunning black and white line drawing that are extremely lifelike. Along with the story, the illustrations beckon to you from the page and draw you right in.

Mellin was a well-known equine artist who created realistic artwork of horses, including paintings, prints, and bronzes. A breeder and horse owner, she brought accurate and insightful information into Pidgy's Surprise without the reader feeling a need to turn to the glossary for every horse term that appears. The glossary at the back of the book provides a wealth of information for those who are not familiar with some of the terms used.

My 7 year old and I read this book out loud together and it provided a few hours of pleasant time snuggled together reading about the adventures of Cindy and Pidgy. She enjoyed finding out about what Pidgy would do next or what Cindy would get into. My 10 year old was so captivated by the story that she read it through from cover to cover in one sitting. Pidgy's Surprise is a fitting book for either a read-aloud or an assigned reading and it will be a pleasure for any reader to experience.

-Product review by Lori Hooten, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September, 2016

And Another Review:

Pidgy’s Surprise tells the story of Cindy and her Shetland pony, Pidgy. Always dreaming of owning a beautiful horse, Cindy looses sight of the true gift she already has. After Pigdy goes missing everything changes. This book is available in paperback for $9.95.

Pidgy’s Surprise is 122 pages in length, and includes 86 black and white drawings. This book is written at about a 3rd grade level and a target audience of  7-8 years old.

My 10 year old loves animals, horses included! She read this book in an afternoon and loved it. My daughter said, “Cindy daydreams about horses all of the time. Cindy has a pony named Pidgy. While she likes Pidgy she dreams of have a big, beautiful horse. One day Cindy learns that they are letting ponies into the horse show. She quickly saddles up Pidgy to enter her into the show. Pidgy wins a blue ribbon. Cindy and Pidgy are best friends. Then, one day, Pidgy goes missing. I will save the best for you to read.” My daughter is begging me to buy the other books by Willow Bend Publishing. I would highly recommend this book. My daughter fell in love with Pidgy and I am sure your child will too.

-Product review by Jennifer Ladewig, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September, 2016