Official Review: Don't They Just Set You To Dreaming?

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Miriam Molina
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Official Review: Don't They Just Set You To Dreaming?

Post by Miriam Molina »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Don't They Just Set You To Dreaming?" by Annette Ilowiecki & Peg Cook.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Annette Ilowiecki was in elementary school when she first heard about the Chincoteague ponies. Her teacher introduced them through the book Misty of Chincoteague. Annette immediately told her mom, Peg Cook, that she wanted to see those ponies. Finally, in 2016, Annette and Peg were able to meet the ponies of their dreams when they visited Chincoteague, Virginia. The two even watched a concert by the Three Sheets, a trio known for singing songs about the area. However, the trio’s repertoire did not have anything about the horses. Back home, Annette and Peg wrote a poem about those enchanting wild horses that they had fallen in love with. The poem “Don’t They Just Set You to Dreaming?” was born. They sent the poem to R. Owen Hooks, a member of the Three Sheets, hoping for him to make the poem a song. After some waiting, the song “Don’t They Just Set You to Dreaming?” was born. On March 17, 2018, with Peg and Annette in attendance, the song made its debut before a live audience. Still unsatisfied, Peg and Annette felt they had to do more for the horses. Thus, the book Don’t They Just Set You to Dreaming? was born.

This is a book about the horses, but it is also about dreams coming true. The book’s full title is Don’t They Just Set You to Dreaming?: A Story-Song Tribute to the Wild Ponies of Chincoteague. It showcases those famous horses in more than fifty fascinating photographs inserted between the lines of the poem-song. The poem itself is remarkable, packing a lot of information about the horses’ history and various activities in just a few rhyming verses. The mother-and-daughter team’s passion for those horses is palpable and infectious. They call it “pony fever.”

I am a fan of Dick Francis, a champion jockey who became a bestselling author and whose books invariably featured equines. I was excited to see the Chincoteague horses, albeit only in pictures. The pictures matched the verses to perfection. My favorite picture showed several horses peacefully “grazing in the salt marsh” amidst a beautiful backdrop of tall trees. Horse lovers of all ages, including children dreaming of riding their own ponies, will surely delight in the book. Maybe some will even be inspired to visit Chincoteague to watch those wild ponies strut their stuff. They may even bring a pony back home!

Annette and Peg wrote this very charming story to satisfy both “dreamer and realist.” Despite the book’s few pages, just 36 in all, I believe they achieved their purpose. There may be a need for a little fine-tuning, though. I found some errors, mostly pertaining to capitalization, but they would be easy to weed out.

Intrigued by the horses, I researched more about them. Perhaps the book could have a page about the legend of how the horses arrived at Chincoteague. Another welcome inclusion would be a link to the song. The authors may also consider a song sheet with guitar chords or piano notes.

The book will be a great souvenir for tourists flocking to Chincoteague. It will also be a proud addition to the libraries of families in Virginia. Considering the wonderful experience I had with the book, I give it 3 out of 4 stars. The errors would account for the missed star. I am sure that Annette and Peg would lasso that elusive star; they have the uncanny talent for fulfilling dreams.

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Don't They Just Set You To Dreaming?
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ButterscotchCherrie
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Post by ButterscotchCherrie »

What a wonderful and unusual idea to pay tribute to horses in song! Thank you for your excellent review.
Pronouns: she, her
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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina »

ButterscotchCherrie wrote: 06 Feb 2021, 09:20 What a wonderful and unusual idea to pay tribute to horses in song! Thank you for your excellent review.
Thanks for galloping by, my friend! 🐎
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Post by kdstrack »

Hurray for the influence of influential teachers! You already have the book. Are you planning a trip to VA to see the horses? I enjoyed your captivating writing. Thanks for the lovely recommendation!
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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina »

kdstrack wrote: 06 Feb 2021, 21:43 Hurray for the influence of influential teachers! You already have the book. Are you planning a trip to VA to see the horses? I enjoyed your captivating writing. Thanks for the lovely recommendation!
I wish! They auction off foals every July. They had to call off the auction only three times since the program started. The first two cancelations were due to WWII; the last was due to COVID-19 (but they did online auctioning).
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Post by MsH2k »

My parents took a vacation to Chincoteague Island, and they talked about it for ages! Great job (and persistence) by this mother-and-daughter team to share their love of these horses. :horse:
Thank you for this marvelous review, Miriam!
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Post by Josephe-Anne »

It's amazing that the authors actually got a band to compose a song based on the poem they wrote! And I agree with the suggestions you made to improve the book. But even with the editing issues, I'm sure I'll enjoy this ode to horses!
🐎 😍

Thank you for a fun and well-written review!
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Post by raluca_mihaila »

I enjoyed very much reading your witty review. Thank you for your recommendation, but now I have to see the Chincoteague ponies for myself :). Great job!
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Post by sharon titus »

The theme of this book intrigues me, i'll add it to my shelf.
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Post by Vivdija »

I love the background story that explains why the poets wrote the poem “Don’t They Just Set You to Dreaming?” I would love to read this book.
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Post by Yvonne Monique »

A very different, unusual book, but very interesting. It sounds like a perfect gift for horse-lovers. Thanks for an awesome review.
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Post by Mbrooks2518 »

What a wonderful way to introduce people to the Chincoteague horses. Great review!
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Post by Eutoc »

Mbrooks2518 wrote: 18 Feb 2021, 21:44 What a wonderful way to introduce people to the Chincoteague horses. Great review!
I didn't know about the horses or the place up until now. Now I'm eager to visit the place and get to create my own unfading memory of it.
Thanks @Miriam Molina for the intro.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina »

MsH2k wrote: 07 Feb 2021, 01:29 My parents took a vacation to Chincoteague Island, and they talked about it for ages! Great job (and persistence) by this mother-and-daughter team to share their love of these horses. :horse:
Thank you for this marvelous review, Miriam!
Wow! I could almost imagine them with their awestricken faces!

Thanks for sharing that, my friend!
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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina »

Josephe-Anne wrote: 07 Feb 2021, 20:20 It's amazing that the authors actually got a band to compose a song based on the poem they wrote! And I agree with the suggestions you made to improve the book. But even with the editing issues, I'm sure I'll enjoy this ode to horses!
🐎 😍

Thank you for a fun and well-written review!
:tiphat: :techie-studyingbrown:
I had immense fun reading this book and riding (misspelling intended, LOL!) the review. I hope you get to meet these lovely horses, too.
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