Author: Christian Trimmer
Illustrator: Jessie Sima
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: August 21st, 2018
Genre/Format: Fiction/Fairy Tales/Picture Book
GoodReads Summary: From Christian Trimmer and bestselling illustrator Jessie Sima comes an adorable and imaginative twist on the tale of Snow White…with lots more ponies!
Sweet Snow Pony is loved by all for her beautiful coat as white as snow and her mane as black as ebony. Children come to her farm from all over just to have her braid their hair and teach them line dancing.
But not everyone loves Snow Pony. Jealous Queenie hatches an evil plan to make Snow Pony run away from the stable by planting a trail of apples into the woods and before long Snow Pony is lost! Full of delicious apples but all alone in the woods, Snow Pony stumbles upon the home of seven miniature ponies. The mini-ponies couldn’t be cuter, especially with Snow Pony’s braids, but they don’t have quite the same moves as the kids back on the farm.
Will her new friends help her find her way home? Or will the evil Queenie get her way?
What I Think: To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of horses BUT this story and the illustrations are really sweet. I like how this is a twist on a fairy tale but also a blend of different fairy tales. At first, I thought it would mimic Snow White and the Seven Dwarves but there's a little Goldilocks and the Three Bears thrown in.
As a mentor text, I like looking at different versions of fairy tales and seeing how authors switch things up. I particularly like how Jessie switched the characters and made the people characters into animals and vice versa. Student writers could think about this in their own stories if they wanted to. They could write a twist on a fairy tale or even fan fiction with a similar character swap.
I've been working on my next young adult novel and I've spent a lot of time working on character development. I've always paid attention to my characters and who they are but this time around, I've really done a lot of character exercises and it's been fun to get to know my characters more before I start writing. Students would play with character options and think through which choice in characters they'd like to try and write. Below you'll find the first paragraph from the book that can be used as a mentor text as writers think about their own version of the story. What if the main character was a tiger or a penguin or a puffer fish?
In thinking about the snatch of text, I also really love how it starts with a description and then the author announces, "Her name was Snow Pony." I like how starting with a description and then naming who the character is gives the information a bit of punch. Something else to try!
Snatch of Text:
"Once upon a time there was a pony who had a coat as white as snow and a mane as black as ebony. (As you can see, the combination was quite spectacular.) Her name was Snow Pony."
Thank you to Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
for sending me a copy of this book to review.