Ponies, ponies, ponies
Helen Cresswell (1934 -
Her influence on children and the stories they were exposed to was profound, as she wrote for Jackanory Playhouse, as well as producing several television series for children, based on her books. These included the Bagthorpes (a chaotic family with a mother addicted to too much brandy), and dreamy Lizzie Dripping, whose friend was an imaginary witch. (I still remember my surprise when the actress who played her, Tina Heath, turned up on Blue Peter as a presenter -
In later life, Helen Cresswell’s work for television waned, as Tracey Beaker and gritty realism took over the schedules.
Finding the book: none of the books are particularly hard to find, though very good firsts of Pietro and the Mule can be a little trickier.
Sources and links
Obituary: The Guardian, 27 September 2005
Obituary, The Independent, 28 September, 2005
The White Sea Horse
Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh, 1964, illus Robin Jacques, 56 pp.
Lippincott, Philadelphia, 1965, 64 pp.
Reprinted as The Little Sea Pony -
Reprinted (with other short stories) as The Little White Sea Horse and Other Sea Magic
Target Paperbacks, London, 1975
Molly’s father brings her back a very strange catch: a little sea horse. Although they want to care
for him, the rest of the village does not think the same way,
Pietro and the Mule
Oliver & Boyd, London & Edinburgh, 1965, illus Maureen Eckersley, 58 pp.
Bobbs Merrill, New York, 1965, 58 pp.
Republished as The Little Grey Donkey
Hodder, London, 1998, pb, illus Jason Cockcroft
Pietro offers to help his grandfather by delivering his vegetable while the
grandfather is in hospital. This involves driving a donkey, but she won't
Ernest Benn, London, 1977, illus Shirley Hughes