Alison Lester, Noni the Pony Counts to a Million, Allen & Unwin, September 2021, 24 pp., RRP $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781760524395
Noni the Pony Counts to a Million is the newest addition to Alison Lester’s beloved Noni the Pony series. The magic thing about the Noni books is that it isn’t necessary to have previously read other books in the series. Noni the Pony Counts to a Million is itself a wonderful standalone!
The story follows Noni, a sweet and friendly pony with a taste for adventure. She journeys from the beach to the farm, meeting old and new friends along the way. This is a counting book, so the reader given the opportunity to count from one to ten (with some BIGGER, more challenging numbers towards the end). Lester has used a simple illustration style and colour palette reminiscent of her previous Noni books. The animals featured in the book are charming, and easy for little children to identify. Lester has used rhyming text, sprinkled with fabulous words such as speckled, dusky and flutter. It is a quick read; a perfect bedtime story on a night when you are strapped for time!
Noni the Pony Counts to a Million is recommended for children aged 1 to 4. Younger children will love Lester’s simple illustrations whilst older readers will appreciate Lester’s descriptive language. Fans of the previous Noni books will adore this new addition to the collection. New fans will delight in the simplicity and beauty of the story and will hopefully feel encouraged to try another Noni book!
Reviewed by Clare Mellor