Makin, Irene

About the author

Irene Makin (b.1917) was born in Calcutta in India, and educated there. During the Second World War, she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Corps (India), and was attached to Eastern Command. After the war, she moved to England, where she married and had three sons. As a child, she had several exotic pets (though her parents drew the line at a tiger), and her books reflect her fascination with animal life. She wrote two pony books: Ponies in the Attic (1970), and its sequel, Ponies in Peril (1973). Both books are set in the New Forest. Ponies in the Attic is a charming read.

Makin seems to have been active over a relatively short period. Her first book, Wild Cat, was published in 1968, was followed by Ponies in the Attic in 1970, Cry Wolf (1972) and Ponies in Peril (1973).

Finding the books
Ponies in the Attic is pretty easy to find in its Puffin incarnation. Ponies in Peril is a bit trickier to find, but not impossible. Copies are usually ex-library.

Links and sources
Dustjacket of Ponies in Peril
Many thanks to Annette York for the pb photo of Ponies in the Attic.


Dan and Debbie series
Ponies in the Attic
Ponies in Peril


Ponies in the Attic

Hutchinson, London,1970, illus Elisabeth Grant
Puffin, pb, 1973

Debbie is lonely, with her two bossy brothers and her impatient aunt, but she makes friends with a boy called Dan, when she’s chasing after a New Forest pony she’s seen peering through the hedge. However, Dan changes when she mentions where she lives, and the ponies she’s found, drawn on the walls of the attic. It turns out that Dan used to live in the house Rufus Acre, and he misses it with all his heart.

Ponies in Peril

Hutchinson, London, 1973, 120 pp, illus Beryl Saunders

Debbie and Dan are still living in the New Forest, and are enjoying watching out for the mare and foal who come to drink at the ford, but one stormy night, Debbie and Dan see Blinka, the mare, galloping wildly, without the foal, Babe. They follow her and find the body of a dead animal. Fortunately it isn’t Babe, the foal, but she’s still missing. Dan and Debbie have to try and find the foal, and what’s going on at the house they call Doubting Castle.