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4.0 out of 5 starsHave a younger daughter that likes horses? Pick this book up for her!
Reviewed in the United States on 23 August 2015
While I may be an adult male, I can still appreciate a decent book written for kids, and this IS one. This book is very easy to read and has very short chapters, which makes it a good choice for beginning readers. Also, the illustrations (which are throughout the book on nearly every page) are very well done. All of the illustrations are realistic drawings that accurately portray the scenes being described in the pages of the book. Several of the pictures are educational sketches that explain just what the words in the story mean (such as the parts of a horse saddle). The illustrations, in my opinion, make this book much better that it would be without them. They are definitely a highlight of the book.
Just as many young boys seem to develop an affection for and a fascination about trains, many young girls seem to develop an affection for and fascination about horses. I don't know exactly why this. I guess it's just part of the way we were created differently. Regardless, this book is an excellent story for young girls who are beginning to read, as it is a story about two young girls (sisters) who spend a summer at their grandmother's ranch. At the ranch, the two girls get to spend time with the animals they each love most - horses and dogs. Each of the two sisters further develop their skills at caring for these animals as they foster them over the summer. (So if you are an animal lover and also want to encourage a love for animals in your children, this book will move them in that direction, too!)
Overall, a pretty good little book that I have no trouble recommending!
4.0 out of 5 starsPerfect for the horse-crazy young reader transitioning to chapter books
Reviewed in the United States on 26 August 2015
I can't say enough wonderful things about Scholastic's Branches books. They are just the perfect transition from children's picture-type books to reading chapter books. My seven year old daughter is utterly horse crazy so she was smitten with this story of a girl who visits her grandmother's ranch to find a "wild" pony named Jewel. Both of them get to do a lot of growing up together. The chapters were just short enough to keep her attention, the vocabulary challenging yet not so difficult to make her give up. It's lovely to see a first grader reading chapter books on her own....infuses such reading confidence! Highly recommended (I recommend nearly all the Branches books....just find one to suit your child's interests and buy them, you won't regret it!).
This is a sweet story of two girls, their grandmother's ponies, and some puppies. The story is easy to follow and the illustrations are beautifully drawn.
The sisters are staying at their grandmother's ranch. "Gran" is not an old-fashioned lady; she wears jeans and rides horses. She is also very lenient, perhaps too easy on the children for the tastes of some parents who would have welcomed some mention of consequences when the girls disobey and sneak outside at night to look for a missing puppy. Instead the older girl is rewarded by being allowed to ride the new pony. Call me old-school but I felt a delay of gratification and some token punishment (like having to do some chores) would have been appropriate.
A third grader will find this easy to read. Little girls who like animals will love the pictures and the story of ponies and puppies.
4.0 out of 5 starsPonies and Puppies, Summer and Sisters
Reviewed in the United States on 17 August 2015
As a child I loved horse books and there were lots of them. Every little girl wants her own horse or pony, doesn't she? It seems that horse books are still popular as Scholastic is bringing out the new Silver Pony Ranch series. Silver Pony Ranch is part of the Scholastic Branches line of short chapter book for newly independent readers. Silver Pony Ranch features sisters Tori and Miranda who are spending the summer with their Grandma at her Silver Pony Ranch. At first these mismatched sisters can't agree on anything. But their love of animals especially ponies and puppies brings them together when there is trouble on the ranch. This is a sweet fun story that's perfect for animal lovers but if that's not your child's style try a different series from the Branches line. There's quite a bit of variety there.
This was a good book for kids who have moved away from picture books and have entered the chapter book phase, but who still like to see some pictures in their books. The story was well-written, involving girls spending a summer at their grandmother's ranch, with the main storyline involving the horses and dogs, and the lessons learned from interacting with and caring for animals. It's perfect for the young girl who is in that horse-crazy stage. The vocabulary used allowed reading without stumbling over the words, and the story was nicely plotted to hold the reader's interest. My test girl kidlet enjoyed the book (age 9).
4.0 out of 5 starspleasant book, mild disobedience, fun for your young reader
Reviewed in the United States on 5 August 2015
The format of this story makes it an excellent choice for a new reader who wants to read chapter books. If you have shopped for books for this level of readers you know that market is saturated with magic, princesses, and a load of glitter. I was pretty thrilled just to find a young chapter book aimed at girls without magic animals or rescuing princesses. The story itself is good if your child loves horses, puppies, or ideally both. There isn't much substance to it, but it is an enjoyable book with very mild issues the girls (eventually) work together to resolve.
The Silver Pony Ranch: Sparkling Jewel is a nice book aimed at youngsters who are beyond early reader books, but not quite ready for full-blown chapter books. The story isn't very complicated, but is relatable as is deals with sibling differences. While I liked the overall setup of the book, I was a bit disappointed that our characters repeatedly disobey, but yet are rewarded in the end. The book itself is rather short, with sweet illustrations. I think it'd be a good fit for children interested in horse stories
4.0 out of 5 starsBranches books are great books for newly independent readers
Reviewed in the United States on 8 August 2015
Branches books are great books for newly independent readers! They are easy to read and fairly entertaining. This particular series is sure to appeal to horse crazy girls. That may be sexist but I don't see it appealing to very many boys. The story is simplistic but again it's for new readers and that's to be expected.