My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A Pony In The Luggage starts with Aunt Tina inviting her niece and nephew – Nicklas and Anneli – to Copenhagen on holidays. Aunt Tina is a very nice sort of Aunt but not very good at dealing with lively children. They visit Copenhagen Zoo and when Aunt Tina isn’t looking, Nicklas and Anneli purchase a ticket for the grand zoo raffle. The first prize is a house, to be built near Copenhagen, and the fourth? Well, that’s a pony. A miniature brown pony called Daniel Pompiliam of Klampenborg to be precise. And when the children win Danny, it’s up to them to figure out how to get the pony back home to Stockholm without Aunt Tina discovering him…
This is adorable. It’s so very adorable. It’s a light, quick read in very accessible language (though you may have to elaborate on what sleeper carriages and trunks are). There’s some very nice repeated motifs in it – Aunt Tina’s letters are signed off with “That was what Aunt Tina thought on Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday” and so on. Moments like this help give such a solid rhythm to a book, so it’s perfectly pitched for reading out loud because I’d defy the reader not to give a little “and we know better” wink at this point.
And it’s funny! There’s a point where Nicklas gallops Danny up and down the train carriage corridor when everyone is sleeping, but then can’t turn him around when he reaches the end of the train. Like, I said, it’s adorable. Aunt Tina’s just on the right hand side of ditzy and the ending is particularly satisfying. A very lovely book indeed and perfect for the pony obsessed.