Cecilia Knowles wrote several children’s books on animals (Kelpie – A Scottish Sheepdog and Torry the Roe Deer being two non pony titles). Her pony titles are written from her own experience, and are both based on ponies she knew. The dedication in Hippo reads: 'This book, about a real pony, is dedicated to my son, daughter, and son-in-law. To Basil who loved and rode him, to Barbara who drove him and eventually got him back into the family, and to her husband David, who, christening him “The Immortal” has kept him in happiness for many years.'
Both titles are well above the usual history-of-a-pony genre. Cecilia Knowles has the knack of observing ponies and writing about them as they actually are, without anthropomorphising them. Her strong affection for her animal heroes shines through, and her human characters are entirely believable. I particularly like the merry Daphne, Hippo’s first owner after his breeders.
Both her pony books are beautifully observed, and should be more popular than they are.
Finding the books
Both her pony titles are easy to find, and reasonably priced.