Classic pony books
There are 14 titles out now, and coming up are:
- September: Patience McElwee
Match Pair, Dark Horse and The Merrythoughts
October: Marjorie Mary Oliver & Eva Ducat
Sea Ponies, Ponies & Caravans, The Ponies of Bunts
December: Joanna Cannan
I Wrote a Pony Book; Gaze at the Moon
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This book weighs in at around 80k words … which explains why, if you’ve only read the Armada version, you have missed an awful lot of this story. Six Ponies was Josephine Pullein-Thompson’s first solo book, and is a brilliant assembly of thoroughly believable characters allied to solid instruction that is still absolutely relevant today.
Like her sisters, Diana Pullein-Thompson (1925–2015) was best known for her pony books. Her first solo pony book was I Wanted a Pony (1946), which followed It Began with Picotee, written with her sisters.
Patricia Leitch (1933–2015) had a varied career, before she settled down to writing. Thanks to her Jinny series, she is a must-read author if you want to do a serious study of how the pony book genre developed.
Pony book authors don’t tend to do humour: perhaps it’s the undercurrent of morality that underpins most of the genre (you must take proper care of your pony ), but the pony book that makes you laugh out loud is rare.
Marianne Mjelva is a Norwegian author, who learned to ride when she was right. When she was 10, she wrote in her diary: ‘When I grow up I’m going to be a dog owner, a horse owner and a writer.’ She’s done all of those.
Books, Mud and Compost. And Horses. Read my blog here.
About Jane Badger
I’m a freelance writer, editor and proof reader. I’ve written Heroines on Horseback (2013), a gallop through the pony book in children’s fiction, and have written the world’s largest website on equine literature.
- My earliest horse memory is being bitten on the arm by a piebald who lived in the field at the end of our garden. It did not put me off.