Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
Cindy Sawyer is a little girl who owns a pony named Pidgy. Because other children she admires now have horses, Cindy is dissatisfied with Pidgy and she daydreams about having a horse of her own rather than a pony. To Pidgy's Surprise, author and illustrator Jeanne Mellin provides the early elementary child with a dilemma: when you want something badly and your parents say no, can you live with what you have and learn to love and value it? It is a lesson to which both parents and young children can relate. The reader does not have to be a horse lover to relate to the theme of the story, which is wanting what you cannot have. In this case, it takes the pony herself to begin to prove her value to her owner Cindy. First, Pidgy wins a competition but that does not seem to be enough for little Cindy. She continues to have fantasies about owning something bigger and better. But then, Pidgy's sudden disappearance forces the child to rethink her value system as she struggles to get back what she already has.
The story is well-done for the young child mind and the morality issues are well-camouflaged within the development of the story so that the child listener or reader will not be overwhelmed and risk losing the message of the story. Rather, the child will want to learn of the pony's "surprise" as well as Cindy's resolution of her feelings about her pony.