Princess Pinecone is not your average Princess. With dreams of being a warrior, she has been disappointed to find that on previous birthdays, while waiting for a horse that is strong and fit for battle, her parents have instead bestowed countless cozy sweaters. The latest one displaying the words “special girl” across her chest is particularly unsatisfying to her. This year she has a plan. She makes it clear to her parents that she needs a strong horse, a horse fit for a warrior! What she gets for her birthday is quite the opposite. The pony is hilariously dumpy; part-Ralph from the Simpsons, part gormless bug-eyed lump with legs. It is often seen with its tongue sticking out of the corner of its mouth and its eyes occasionally looking in different directions. It appears to also have a slight problem with flatulence. But, Pinecone decides, you can’t say no to a birthday present. So she commits to training the pony for an upcoming battle, because battling is what warriors do best. The day of the battle arrives. Dodge balls, spitballs, hairballs and square balls (those are new) start flying. Pinecone is ready for battle, but is not prepared for what happens. The pony melts the heart and mind of Otto the Awful, fiercest warrior. Strong, amulet-clad, shield-yielding warriors fall at the pony’s feet and become smitten. The story is witty, smart, well-written and brilliantly illustrated. Beaton has a knack for both subtle and blatant humor and has created a book that is sure to please children and adults alike.
So who says princesses can’t dream of charging into battle on a strong steed, or that cozy sweater wearing warriors can’t swoon over dopey looking ponies? This book knocks conventions on their heads and makes you laugh out loud while doing so. Beaton also alludes to the fact that maybe we don’t need to get out our fists to resolve conflicts, but rather change the world one awesome sweater at a time.
Beaton also has two other great titles in our collection- Hark! A vagrant, and Step aside, pops: A Hark! A vagrant collection.