What an absolutely delightful addition to the Choose Your Own Adventure canon! And, sneakily, a perfect Easter-time read for any kid who loves animals, especially magical ones.
You, the reader, are spending Easter Sunday at your aunt’s place, Glitterpony Farm, at the beginning of spring break. Your mom thinks it’s a good idea for you to get to know this part of your family better. Aunt Jo takes care of lots of animals — even some unusual ones, as she hints — and her daughter Kat helps out. You’re actually just arriving when Kat races up to her mom with the news that she’s needed in town for a vet emergency right now.
Aunt Jo bikes off, leaving you with the somewhat bossy Kat, who seems pretty reluctant to show you the animals. You soon realize why, tho, as you’re taken to see the magical creatures, who quickly land you in any number of hilarious, wholesome hijinks depending on what choices you make while reading this charming book.
The many different adventure paths are a delight for kids of all ages. The book also has the advantage of being not inherently gendered, as “you” the reader have your back turned in all of Norm Grock’s colorful, whimsical illustrations. I loved the kinetic pastels of his art, with plenty of the sparkle promised by the title. The animals are all rendered with an almost infectious joy, even when they’re behaving in ways that are less than ideal.
Absorbing and entertaining, this is a great introduction to the Choose Your Own Adventure line for kids who aren’t yet ready for riskier adventures, or who just want a more gentle game experience than is the norm for this genre. There are, technically, “bad” endings, but they’re wholly in keeping with the intended audience and tone.
Glitterpony Farm by Tina Connolly & Norm Grock was published today March 7 2023 by Chooseco and is available from all good booksellers, including