Gunnel Linde is a Swedish author, born in Stockholm in 1924. Her father died when she was small, and she and her mother lived in a small flat after that, the flat itself providing inspiration for one of her later stories. She described herself as an onlooker rather than a doer as a child, presumably storing up experiences and the habit of watching for her later career as a writer. After school she attended art school, and worked as a journalist, going on, during the 1950s, to produce children’s programmes for Sveriges Radio and then children’s programmes for television. She became interested in children’s rights, and wth Berit Hedeby she founded BRIS (Children’s Rights in Society). She held several positions within the society from 1973–89. She won the Nils Holgersson Prize for the best children’s book of 1965 with The White Stone. Several of her books, as well as The White Stone, have been translated into English: only one is a pony book (or at least, a book involving ponies). Ponies in the Luggage is a good read: at first I wondered if the author was going to make this a wild and unbelievable romp, but she doesn’t. The pony does indeed live in their hotel room, his droppings have to be cleared up, and his noises explained ... It is pretty much a miracle that Aunt Tina doesn’t spot the pony, particularly when they are all sharing their sleeper on the train back to Stockholm, but she doesn’t. Fortunately the children's parents are enchanted rather than horrified when they all eventually make it back to Stockholm.
Finding the book
Very easy indeed to find in its paperback incarnation; easy to find as a hardback.
Bibliography: pony books only
Ponies in the Luggage
Original title: Me Lill-Klas i Kappsächen, Stockholm, Bonnier, 1965
Dent, London, 1968. Trans Anne Parker. Illus Richard Kennedy, 139 pp.
As Pony Surprise: Harcourt & Brace, New York, 1968, illusRichard Kennedy, 130pp.
Puffin Books, pb, 1972, trans Anne Parker, illus Richard Kennedy, 137 pp.