Review also includes: The Enchanted Pony, 144pp, 978-0747593340
Fetlocks Hall must be one of the happiest schools in the country, concentrating as it does on riding and ponies in a well described, realistic way alongside the fantastical fantasy elements of the stories.
In The Curse of the Pony Vampires some unpleasant people decide to write to OGRIBS (the school inspectors) and also to curse the school with a temporary attack of vampire ponies. How will Penny and all her friends (both human, pony and ghostly) save the day? Suffice to say, Penny comes out on top as usual even managing to reconcile two ghostly families in the process. As for what Babette Cole manages to do to the inspectors, that had me laughing out loud and will have many other teachers appreciating her humour too (can you guess who has recently experienced a school inspection?!!!)
In The Enchanted Pony, Penny meets a ‘centaureen’ – a creature who is part pony and part girl. The centaureen would like to join Fetlocks Hall so Penny sets out to see what can be done. While teaching her new friend the alphabet she discovers something most interesting about the missing parents of one of the school’s pupils. And then there is the matter of the school open day which is happening amidst all of this. As usual, Cole resolves everything to the general joy and amusement of readers. Once again, these Fetlocks Hall books will have readers galloping through the stories with great enjoyment. Now if only Fetlocks Hall existed in real life…