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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Mini Whinny: Happy Birthday To Me by Stacy Gregg and Ruth Paul

Mini Whinny is the littlest horse in the stable. She’s ever so cute...but also ever so sassy. On August 1, the official birthday for all horses, Mini Whinny wants a celebration all of her own. Why should she have to share with all the other horses? In the middle of the night, she sneaks out of her stable and steals away with all the party preparation, even the cake.

Stacy Gregg is well-known within the junior fiction world, with 23 titles to her name – each of them about horses. This is her first foray into the picture book realm, and she does a wonderful job.

Mini Whinny is a cute story that will appeal to younger readers, but it comes with a strong message. Mini Whinny may be small in stature, but she comes with a big personality. Caring for others, sharing, graciousness and empathy are all lessons Mini Whinny must learn. Younger readers still learning about emotional regulation and consequences will no doubt spot a little of themselves in the wee horse.

Gregg’s subtle, yet deep, story is perfectly paired with lovely artwork by award-winning illustrator Ruth Paul. Her signature drawing style shines through yet again, with realistic yet whimsical illustrations. The horses are wonderfully rendered, with great accuracy. But the overall feel is adorable with a real party atmosphere.

Mini Whinny is marketed as a series and it will be interesting to see what shape the subsequent books take. With Gregg’s experience in junior fiction, there is a real potential for the series to be a collection of important social themes and lessons. Gregg has successfully made a sideways move to picture books, keeping the story sophisticated with a strong, yet simple, for younger readers.

With gorgeous drawings, a sassy strong main character, and a strong moral and story, Mini Whinny is a wonderful addition to any child’s bookshelf.

Reviewer: Rebekah Fraser

Scholastic, RRP $19.99


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