Mini Whinny: Goody Four-Shoes by Stacy Gregg
Mini Whinny, the mischievous little horse, prances on to the pages again, in the second in a picture book series.
Written by bestselling Kiwi author Stacy Gregg, this new Mini Whinny book continues to shine. Gregg's debut picture book, and the first in the series, Mini Whinny: Happy Birthday To Me won a 2018 Notable Book Award. She continues to deliver with this second book.
This time around Mini Whinny plans to escape her annoyingly perfect stable neighbour. Goody Four-Shoes is the best as everything. She's graceful. She can jump really high. Even her mane is perfect. Mini Whinny does not like her. So naughty Mini Whinny decides to run away.
This adorable story of horsey friendship packs a punch with a simple yet striking message. Aimed at those in early primary school, it's a story for any one who loves to feel a wee bit special, and who sometimes forget that it is more fun to share.
Mini Whinny is not a nice horse. She has a lot of characteristics that we hope our children don't have. For little people it can be tricky to have these big conversations, but Gregg provides parents with the perfect character to aid these. It makes for a great book for kindergarten-aged children to read together with a trusted adult. For those that are a bit older, it would also be a great book to read aloud together at bed time. Using the book as a parenting tool, as a way to initiate some of those tricky conversations, was a great way to deepen a child's understanding. Together parent and child can discuss different coping strategies if confronted with a similar situation in real-life.
The cover of the book gives a hint of the gorgeousness within. Silver foil flowers and horse shoes add pops of sparkle. Illustrator Ruth Paul creates a sweet, yet not saccharine, world for Mini Whinny and her pony pals. Her distinctive charming style is on full show, yet Paul does a wonderful job of not giving into stereotypes and making it over-the-top girly. Her horses are full of fun and whimsy, and have plenty of character.
Mini Whinny is a sweet tale of friendship that will inspire some big conversations.
Reviewer: Rebekah Fraser
Scholastic, RRP $18.99