Lester, Alison

About the author

Alison Lester (b.1952) was born in Victoria, Australia. She both writes and illustrates, and is probably best known for her picture books for younger children. She was educated at St Margaret’s School, and then trained as an arts and crafts teacher. Not liking the everyday routine of school, she started illustrating other people’s books after she had her first baby. However, after ‘getting picky’ about other people’s texts, she started to write as well, using her childhood on the family cattle farm as an inspiration for many of her books. This background is reflected in her pony books: she first rode a horse as a baby in her father’s arms, and has a horse of her own, Woollyfoot.

Her books have been well received, and she has won awards including the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year, Australian Multicultural Children’s Literature, and Australian Book Publishers Association Design Awards.

Finding the books
Her pony books are obtainable via Amazon, and although the pony content of the only one I’ve read (Quicksand Pony), isn’t huge, it is an excellent read.  It and The Snow Pony are aimed at around age 11; the Bonnie and Sam books at a slightly younger age.  

Links and sources
Alison Lester’s website
An interview and masterclass with Alison Lester (link no longer works)
Allen & Unwin’s page on Alison Lester (link no longer works)
Bonnie and Sam’s website (link no longer works)


Bonnie and Sam
The Circus Pony
The Shadow Brumby
Racing the Tide
Saving Mr Pinto

Bibliography (pony books only)

The Quicksand Pony

Allen and Unwin, New South Wales, 1997

Biddy has to leave her pony in the quicksand, but when she returns, there’s no sign of the pony: only hoof prints and paw prints, and other, small, human prints. Who has rescued Bella?

The Snow Pony

Allen and Unwin, New South Wales, 2001

Three years of drought have turned the Riley’s farm into a dirt patch. The whole family is strained. With that, and her best friend’s move to boarding school in the city, Dusty’s whole life seems to be unraveling. Her only consolation is the Snow Pony. Dusty first sees the wild brumby up on the Plains, and can think of little else. When her father catches the horse, the Snow Pony will accept one rider – Dusty. When sudden violence erupts during a trip to the mountains, Dusty and her horse find themselves tested as never before.

The Silver Horse Switch

Allen & Unwin, 2007
Reprinted as The Shadow Brumby
Allen & Unwin, 2009

Bonnie and Sam ride together whenever they can, and have excellent adventures, like the time the shadow brumby slipped into town.

The Circus Pony

Allen & Unwin, 2008

Bonnie and Sam practise trick riding before the circus comes to town.

Racing the Tide

Allen & Unwin, 2008

Bonnie and Sam have a great adventure when they go mustering sheep and find suspicious tracks leading out to the beach…

Saving Mr Pinto

Allen & Unwin, 2008

Bonnie and Sam find friendship, horses and adventure at an Australian agricultural show.

Running with Horses

Northsouth, New York, 2011, 32 pp.

Set during the second World War, this is the story of Nina and her father, as they try to help the Lipizzaner stallions to escape.

Noni the Pony

Allen & Unwin, London, 2011, 32 pp.

Noni lives on a farm, and during the day she has fun. But during the night everything is different, and Noni gets scared. It’s then her friends help her.