Little girls and horses just seem to go together like . . .well . . . little boys and puppy dogs. I know that I was a horse-crazy kid, and now I have three young ladies of my own that adore all things equine. If you can’t have adventures on your own horse though—oh, what a cross to bear!—the next best thing is to READ about adventures on a horse!
Author Susan K. Marlow has delivered another wonderful series that will have your littlest horse lovers jumping in with both feet. “Circle C Beginnings” is the prequel to Susan Marlow’s other successful series, “Circle C Adventures.” I reviewed Trouble with Treasure, one of the books from the latter series, earlier this year. I just loved the wholesome fun it offered. So much so, that I bought the entire set for my 12 year old daughter. She inhaled every book and proclaimed them to be the best stories her voracious reading appetite had consumed!
When I received the first two “Circle C Beginnings” books recently, my daughter snatched them up and read them as well (even though they are aimed at an audience of 6-8 year olds). There’s something about Andi Carter, the main character of all the Circle C books, that is so endearing. She just seems to find trouble like a flea finds a dog. And it’s always with such good intentions that you can’t help but become a fan!
In Andi’s Pony Trouble, Andi is tired of her pokey, hand-me-down pony, Coco. She is almost six years old, for Pete’s sake, shouldn’t she be ready for a full-grown horse? Her family doesn’t think so, but Andi is sure she can prove how mature and ready she really is.
Andi and friend Riley go riding on Coco and Riley’s horse, Midnight. Riley let’s her take a turn galloping on Midnight and Andi feels like she can conquer the world! She certainly doesn’t want to ride boring old Coco anymore. In fact, why can’t the two of them ride double on Midnight and let Coco follow them back to the ranch? Good plan, until they realize Coco is no longer behind them. Andi knows that losing Coco will mean big trouble. If she can’t take care of a pokey, hand-me-down pony, then it proves she really isn’t ready for a full size horse! Maybe if she can find Coco on her own . . . (yes, it’s a bad idea!).
Andi’s Indian Summer finds Andi and friend Riley (or maybe “partner in crime” is a better description?) between a rock and a hard place. A dime-novel about Indian’s taking white men captive has planted some pretty scary images in young Andi’s mind. What could be worse than being kidnapped by a tribe of wild Indians? The children find that getting lost in the vast, unsettled wilderness proves to be a close second. When real Indians come across their path, Andi and Riley are sure they are goners!
All of the Circle C adventures are set in the late 1800’s, in the untamed Sierra Nevada’s of California. A perfect place for a young tomboy to find trouble and adventure galore! There’s enough rough and tumble fun in these stories to ensure that boys will enjoy them as well. Although Andi makes bad choices at times, she also learns wholesome lessons through the natural consequences of her actions. Important concepts for young people to grasp!
These delightful early chapter books have a “New Words” list to help readers navigate the tale. Illustrator Leslie Gammelgaard has liberally sprinkled her charming sketches throughout the pages, serving to enhance the story that much more.The author also has a few questions and historical facts at the end of each book to add to the experience. You’ll also be glad to know there’s a definite Christian worldview woven into each story that's never preachy, just a natural part of Andi’s life.
Furthermore, on the Circle C website (visit it here), there are activity and coloring pages (related to each book) that can be printed out for FREE, serving to make these chapter books a truly educational experience. If you’re ready to add some Circle C fun to your Christmas gift list, then you can order books by visiting the Kregel Publishing website here.
It has been a pleasure to get to know Andi Carter and crew through the various Circle C books! I know you won’t be disappointed in the quality of writing and integrity of character that Susan K. Marlow serves up with each tale. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future!