Category: Pony book history

  • Short story collections (UK)

    Short story collections (UK)

    The books There are a lot of collections of short stories out there. They were convenient presents for those who had a pony-mad person to buy for, but who didn’t know what they liked. The books could be put together easily if you simply went for extracts, dressing the book up further by getting a…

  • Primrose Cumming: Silver Snaffles

    Primrose Cumming: Silver Snaffles

    Silver Snaffles is one of the most sought-after of pony books, whose story of ponies who can talk and teach you to ride has enchanted generations. Its theme of talking horses was not new: Black Beauty and Moorland Mousie spoke, but only to the reader or to other horses. John Thorburn’s Hildebrand (Country Life, 1930,…

  • What to call your pony book

    What to call your pony book

    Have you written a pony book? Writing a book is one thing, but thinking of a title for it is quite another. Do you tell the reader exactly what they’re going to get, or do you hint at it? Publishers in the past worked on the fair assumption that if you were looking for a…

  • Thelwell and the ponies who plot

    Thelwell and the ponies who plot

    Norman Thelwell was probably best known for his ponies. He was the illustrator of many pony-mad children’s childhoods: not the lovely dream of a matchless grey swishing round the show ring, festooned with rosettes, but the foul tempered pony determined not to be caught and entirely deaf to any suggestion that it be schooled. Much…

  • The Committee for the Advancement of Men in Equine Literature

    The Committee for the Advancement of Men in Equine Literature

    It was time for the monthly meeting of the Committee for the Advancement of Men in Equine Literature. From the very dawn of the pony book, it had worked tirelessly to ensure the proper representation of men and boys in equine literature for the young. Today was no different. There was always a pre-meeting lunch,…

  • Was Jill’s pony black or piebald?

    Was Jill’s pony black or piebald?

    And what was his name? When Jill fans get together, there is one topic that always exercises them. Was Jill’s pony, Black Boy, black, or was he piebald, and was his name Black Boy or Danny Boy? The answer is ‘both’, and that it depends on what edition of the books you read. The original…

  • Pony Tales and Puffin Books III

    Pony Tales and Puffin Books III

    Eleanor Graham retired as editor of Puffin Books in 1961. Her place was taken, briefly, by Margaret Clark (who was responsible for publishing Tolkein’s The Hobbit, a book of which Eleanor Graham had had a dim opinion). Although Margaret Clark had been promised the Puffin editorship, she was shunted sideways, as Allen Lane, Penguin founder, met…

  • Pony Tales and Puffin Books II

    Pony Tales and Puffin Books II

    Puffin Picture Books to me had it just right. Their illustrations were things of simple beauty. They weren’t in any way child-like, quirky, or hitting a particular, temporary, zeitgeist. The illustrations of the only Puffin Picture Book I had as a child (Henry Wynmalen’s Riding for Children, found at a Methodist missionary society jumble sale) gave…

  • Pony Tales and Puffin Books I

    Pony Tales and Puffin Books I

    When I wrote Heroines on Horseback, I looked briefly at the impact that the development of paperback publishing had on the pony story. I was looking then at publishers like Armada, the paperback arm of Collins, whose business model was to produce paperback versions of books children wanted to read, in an often standardised and abridged…

  • The Jinny Books by Patricia Leitch (2)

    The Jinny Books by Patricia Leitch (2)

    After the Gold Horseshoe edition of the 1990s (which you can see, along with the earlier editions, here), there were no completely new Jinny editions for another 20 years, but there were compilations, and a partial hardback series. Hardbacks The Jinny series’ true first editions were in paperback by Armada, so if you look for…