Title: Naughty Norton
Author: Bernadette Kelly
Illustrator: Liz Alger
Publisher: Picture Window Books
May Contain Spoilers
Some people think Norton is a naughty pony, but his owner Molly knows he is just very clever. She is determined to train her pony, no matter how long it takes.
Naughty Norton got a great big LOL from me. This is a funny book, and I could really relate to Molly’s struggles with Norton. She loves her pony, and, obviously, he loves her. When she tells the story, anyway. Molly thinks that Norton is perfect, and she is blind to his every fault. When he misbehaves, she doesn’t recognize his behavior for what it is, and that is what had me laughing out loud. Norton does everything he can to not work, and Molly comes up with an excuse for everything he does wrong.
What does Norton do that’s so bad? Let me share. When Molly heads out to the pasture to get him ready for a ride, he turns and saunters off in the other direction. He would rather eat than practice for the upcoming horse show. I know this behavior well. I see it every time I go to the barn to work with Blondie. She doesn’t want to work, either. She just wants to stand in her stall and eat hay. She turns her back to me and ignores me. Yes, she must have read Naughty Norton for some tips on how to make my life miserable. Like Norton, she steps on my feet, tries to bite me, and she even tries to run the judge over at the show! This is the story of my life!
I love Molly! She is clueless! Here is my favorite passage from the book – Sometimes a horse will test its trainer’s patience. That’s when I remind myself that Norton is just an animal, and I am in charge.
Norton cannot outsmart me.
LOL! That is something I hear at least 4 times a week! You are the trainer! You are in charge! Don’t let that horse walk all over you! Molly doesn’t know what hit her, because Norton does walk all over her. The only difference between me and Molly is that I know that my pony is being very, very naughty!
Pony Tales: Naughty Norton is a chapter book for readers ages 4 – 8. I thought it was a hoot, and I’ll be reading more of these. Bernadette Kelly knows horses, and she conveys her narrative with a great deal of humor. Liz Alger’s illustrations are great and they have as much personality as the rest of the book. This was a fun find for me.
Review copy obtained from my local library