The Princess and the Pony

Photo Jul 09, 10 22 34 PM

  • The Princess and the Pony
  • written and illustrated by Kate Beaton
  • published by Scholastic (2015)
  • Roar Score: 5/5

Based on the title and cover, The Princess and the Pony initially got a lukewarm to mixed reception in my house. The 6-year-old girl looked optimistic (though she’s not a “princess girl”), and the 4-year-old boy eyed it with extreme skepticism.

It only took a couple pages, though, to find them both roaring with laughter and repeating the lines after me (between giggles, of course).

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Princess Pinecone is a small but sturdy warrior, but she doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to birthday presents. Most warriors get shields and helmets. Princess Pinecone gets cozy sweaters. This year, however, she wants a horse. A big horse. A warrior’s horse.

What she gets is something decidedly different: a small, round pony with crossed eyes that farts too much.

Now you understand the giggle fits and roaring bouts of laughter. A cross-eyed farting pony is comedy gold to kids of all ages. Trust me.

Comedy. Gold.

In all seriousness, though, Kate Beaton has created something remarkable here. Beyond the surface-level humor, the book delivers an empowering message of staying true to yourself, and the portrayal of both the princess and the pony subverts all modern depictions of those archetypes, even those meant as satire.

And beneath it all lies a tender core that will unashamedly warm your heart.

This is a truly refreshing book that has earned a place of honor in my kids’ library, and it’s one that will be read and reread many, many times.

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(Thanks to Scholastic who provided The Roarbots with a review copy of this book. All opinions remain my own.)

Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He's the founder and owner of The Roarbots and also a contributor to Syfy Wire, StarWars.com, and GeekDad. On top of that, he hosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates creativity in popular culture, science, and technology by talking to a wide variety of people who contribute to it.

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