Chloe loves the pony-riding competitions. But when she gets stuck with Niki, a slow, stubborn pony, she knows she’s going to lose. Luckily her Uncle Tony is on hand, and he gives her a special, magic riding baton. With it she’ll be able to make any pony ride like the wind! Sure enough, Chloe rides Niki in a perfect performance. Race after race, the two are inseparable as the magic baton leads them to victory. But what happens the day of the final competition when Chloe loses her baton? Though nearly ready to quit, Chloe discovers that believing in herself is really all the magic she needs.
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Julie Litty lives in France.From School Library Journal:
Kindergarten-Grade 3–Chloe, a riding enthusiast who has been awaiting the jumping competition, is paired with Niki, a beautiful pony with a reputation of never following riders' commands. She saddles him up and tries to make the most of the situation, but is nearly in tears. Her Uncle Tony shows up with a present–a riding baton from Mexico that he says is magical. She guides the horse through his paces to win the race–and many others after that. Then, just before an important meet, Chloe realizes that the baton is missing, and she loses her confidence. This time, Niki leads them to the starting gate, and pony and rider perform perfectly together. The smooth text is supported by lovely ink-and-watercolor spreads. With its story of courage and learning, horse lovers will adore this picture book.–Alice DiNizo, Plainfield Public Schools, NJ
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