A Starred Review for SNOW PONY AND THE SEVEN MINIATURE PONIES (plus some other nice reviews)

I love stars, be they in the sky or in the pages of Entertainment Weekly. I particularly adore starred reviews of books...and Snow Pony and the Seven Miniature Ponies just got one from School Library Journal!

*TRIMMER, Christian. Snow Pony and the Seven Miniature Ponies. illus. by Jessie Sima. 48p. S. & S. Aug. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481462686. 

K-Gr 2–Children come from miles around to see the aptly named Snow Pony, whose coat is the color of snow and whose mane is as dark as ebony. Known for her hair-braiding and line-dancing skills, Snow Pony regularly puts on shows for an adoring public, along with her best friend, a little girl named Charmaine, and Hunter the dog. But a rival pony, the jealous Queenie, is determined to seize the spotlight and subject the crowds to scrapbooking lessons. This retelling softens the edges of “Snow White” and jettisons the romance in favor of a friendship-heavy plot. No poison here—Queenie merely distracts Snow Pony with a trail of apples that lead her into the woods, where she gets lost and meets seven miniature ponies. While Snow Pony immediately bonds with her new pals, she longs to see Charmaine and Hunter again (and her pals are just as worried about her). Bright illustrations depict winsome settings and characters. Accompanied by sparkling stars, Snow Pony cuts a graceful figure, while the endearingly eccentric, diminutive ponies are squat, with long manes covering their eyes. This version of the tale strikes a whimsical note, eschewing snark in favor of offbeat but kid-friendly humor, and though on the lengthy side, it’ll easily grab children’s attention. VERDICT Fairy-tale reimaginings are common, but this quirky one more than holds its own. A superb story for longer read-alouds and one-on-one sharing.–Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

Publishers Weekly also had nice things to say: "This book will top the pile of bedtime favorites in horse-loving households, with jokes thrown in for the grown-ups, to boot." And Booklist justly called me out for being ridiculous: "Trimmer's tongue-in-cheek story is full aware of its ridiculous premise--not to mention the irresistible adorableness of miniature horses--but readers lured by these won't be disappointed."

My Fourth Book Deal

I've always loved fairy tales. As a child, I sought them out in whatever form they took--picture books, short story collections, Disney films. 

I used to love horses (I still like them, but the passion doesn't run as deep). My friend Heather had one. I vividly remember a photo of her atop it in her chic riding gear. It blew my mind that a kid my age could OWN A HORSE. 

As a children's book editor, I've enjoyed reading fairy tale reimaginings, though I've yet to work on any (hint, hint). So, I decided to write one of my own. Happily, the always brilliant Justin Chanda wanted to work on it, and he reached out to the magnificent Jessie Sima to see if she might illustrate it. (See? I told you--brilliant.) She said yes.

Add It to the List: NOT QUITE NARWHAL

I made an offer on this book the day I received it. THE DAY I RECEIVED IT! I think that might be a first for me. But I immediately fell in love with Kelp, who is the unicorn at the heart of the story, the art, and the writing. The supremely gifted Jessie Sima knocked it out of the park.

Though Jessie is brand new to all of this, she speaks like a seasoned veteran, expertly discussing how she approaches her illustrations, the numerous revisions she made to each drawing to get the angle, emotion, and narrative quality just right, and her feelings about the industry. I know this because I had a chance to speak with her ahead of the auction that agent Thao Le organized (I wasn't the only one who saw the potential in Not Quite Narwhal). Jessie and I chatted for nearly an hour. (When was the last time you spoke on the phone for an hour?!) We had such a lovely conversation, and I hung up the phone wanting the book even more. 

I was on vacation the day of the auction, so my fearless boss went into battle for me. As I came out of the New Amsterdam theater after seeing Aladdin with my partner's kids (and getting a backstage tour!)...

...I checked my email and discovered that I, Christian Trimmer, was going to be the editor of Not Quite Narhwal, along with a to-be-determined second picture book.

It was a great vacation.

Not Quite Narwhal is scheduled for Spring 2017.