2 out of 4 stars
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Most little girls who ask their parents for ponies don't get them because their parents are against it (or tell them to ask Santa for it). Parental opposition isn't what's stopping ten-year-old Sally from making her dreams of owning a horse come true. She's terribly allergic to them; she's been rushed to the hospital on more than one occasion. Her hopes are resurrected when she attends a rodeo, and a woman tells her that Curly horses are hypoallergenic. Her father immediately finds a Curly horse ranch. The owner says that she must take riding and training lessons before getting one, and that's precisely what she does.
Ron Gale's Sally Gets a Curly Horse is a 24-page book aimed at children between fourth and eighth grade. Gale provides simplistic, colorful sketches for each page.
This would be a good book for readers who like horses. Parents might like this book because it teaches children that dreams are achievable — if you're willing to work for it. It can help children learn the importance of being patient and responsible. It also shows Sally using her new skills to help others.
Most of the language is simplistic. The longest word is "hypoallergenic," and the author notes that Sally had difficulty with it at first. Some of the equestrian terms might be challenging for readers who don't have any knowledge of horse riding (such as "neck rein" or "inverted rein"). However, some of the sketches help illustrate their meanings.
I had some issues with the formatting. The text and images were both against a light pink background. Some pages had margins around the text, and others didn't. The margins around the images were completely random. I read this on the Kindle app, and I had to mess around with the settings a lot to try and get the text and corresponding sketch on the same page. It's possible that I never found that sweet spot. I think it would have been more cohesive if the book had been a Print Replica eBook.
I'm also not entirely convinced that allergies are realistically portrayed in the book. It's said that merely touching or handling a horse would make Sally sick and cause her face to swell up; her reactions landed her in the hospital "sometimes." This sounds like it has to be an anaphylactic reaction since that's typically the only kind that puts you in a hospital. However, she tests to see if she's allergic to Curly horses by rubbing her arm against their necks and seeing if her skin gets red and itchy. Contact dermatitis is a lot different from the symptoms she described earlier. Additionally, the woman who taught Sally this told her that if she's allergic to them, she would see the symptoms immediately. However, contact dermatitis can take 1-3 days to show up. It just doesn't seem like great advice (but, of course, it all worked out in the end).
I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars for the issues noted above and the multiple grammar errors I found. These errors included things like improper capitalization, quotation mark errors, and missing spaces. After a round of professional editing, this book would certainly merit a higher score.
Sally Gets a Curly Horse
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