Welcome to Equestria
Posted by Tracy Poff on April 17, 2013
Shining Armor and Princess Cadance, the new rulers of the Crystal Empire, have been invited to visit towns all over Equestria. As they tour the land, they write letters to Twilight Sparkle about their journey, which will end in Ponyville, where Twilight lives.
Welcome to Equestria by Olivia London is a children’s picture book featuring characters from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The story is told in two ways: first, by narrative recounting the events as Shining Armor and Princess Cadance travel; second, by the letters they write to Twilight.
The narrative is simple, as is appropriate for a children’s book, but also, frankly, pretty boring. The letters have much more character. Compare:
“They are delighted to visit Princess Celestia and Princes Luna at Canterlot Castle, and enjoy some time in the city together.”
“We arrived in Canterlot today after a lovely send-off in the Crystal Empire. It was wonderful to enjoy Canterlot knowing that it is now safe from that evil Queen Chrysalis!”
Both are simple and direct, but the second, from the letter, is a lot more fun to read.
The story isn’t anything special–there’s not any plot to speak of, just a sequence of descriptions of places Shining Armor and Cadance. The only thing tying things together is that the two pick up gifts as they travel, and give them to Twilight and her friends at the end. There’s nothing wrong with the book being very simple, but it could have been better. The show itself manages much more interesting stories with being appreciably more complicated to understand.
Of course, for a picture book, the writing is only half the story. Welcome to Equestria‘s artwork matches the show, so it’s nice enough, but it mostly consists of scenery and the occasional character posing, which isn’t very interesting to look at. Also, the art is very separated from the text, and seems somewhat superfluous. Nice to have, but not important. In a really good picture book, the text and art work together to tell the story, but that doesn’t happen in Welcome to Equestria.
Welcome to Equestria isn’t bad, and kids that like the show will probably like the book, but it’s no classic of children’s literature, either. Pick it up for fans, but otherwise there are probably better choices.