Author: Rebecca Janni
Illustrator: Lynne Avril
Publisher: Penguin Group (February 23, 2010)
Reading Level: Ages 4 to 8
Rating: 3.5 stars
Description from GoodReads:
Nellie Sue does everything with a western flair. Whether it is cleaning up the animal sty (picking up her stuffed animals) or rounding up cattle (getting the neighborhood kids together for her birthday party), she does it like a true cowgirl. All she really needs is a horse. So when Dad announces at her birthday party, “I got a horse right here for you,” Nellie Sue is excited. But when her horse turns out to be her first bicycle, it will take an imagination as big as Texas to help save the day.
Author Rebecca Janni has a nice twist on the classic "I want a pony" story. Many little girls (and boys) have been known to ask for a pony for Christmas or their birthday. The main character, Nellie Sue, is dressed up in cowgirl attire and goes about her daily chores equating them to the chores she would be responsible for if she were to actually have a horse of her own. Each time she does another chore, she reminds her parents of her desire to have a pony. When her birthday party actually happens, she is given a pink two wheel bicycle. Nellie Sue doesn't hesitate. She jumps on her "horse" and heads out for a ride. Her first trip out isn't as successful as she had hoped for but with the help of her father the "horse" is back up and running with Nellie Sue back in the saddle.
Some books I believe fill a niche. The very pink color tones and female main character lends this book to a female audience. Though I think many young children will enjoy the language style of the book and the great illustrations, this doesn't appear to be one of those books that would likely end up in a general classroom library so much as in a personal library of a little girl who will personally relate to the story. It would make a great gift for that horse-lovin' little girl.