Bialk, Elisa

About the author

Elisa Bialk (1912–90) was born and brought up in Chicago, Illinois, and was educated at the Northwestern University School of Journalism. She started writing early, and her articles had already appeared in newspapers and magazines by the time she was in high school. She married L Martin Krautter in 1934, and after her marriage, concentrated her efforts on short stories and plays. She published a range of horse fiction, including the lengthy Tizz series, aimed at the young reader. Besides the young readers, she wrote a range of unconnected books for the older reader.

The Tizz series features Tracy and her palomino pony Tizz. The family (and Tizz) are extraordinarily well travelled, and have a genius for riding in a parade in virtually every new location.

Finding the books
The Tizz series is usually fairly easy to find and not generally expensive. Finding copies issued with dustjackets with their jackets can be tricky. Of the non-Tizz titles, Taffy’s Foal and The Colt of Cripple Creek are difficult to find. Wild Horse Island, being illustrated by Paul Brown, is expensive. None of Elisa Bialk’s titles were published in the UK.

Links and sources
Terri A. Wear: Horse Stories, an Annotated Bibliography, Scarecrow Press, 1987
Elisa Bialk’s papers are held at the University of Oregon Libraries (Archives West)
Many thanks to Lisa Catz for all her help with this section.


Tizz series
Tizz Takes a Trip
Tizz Plays Santa Claus
Tizz and Company
Tizz is a Cow Pony
Tizz on a Pack Trip
Tizz on a Horse Farm
Tizz in Cactus Country
Tizz on a Trail Ride
Tizz in Texas
Tizz at the Stampede
Tizz in the Canadian Rockies
Tizz at the Fiesta
Tizz South of the Border

Bibliography (horse books only)

The Horse Called Pete

Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1948, 80 pp, illus William Moyers

Excerpt in Palomino and Other Horses, ed Wesley Dennis, 1950

Davey and his grandfather visit a circus, and when they come back, they come with a paint
trick riding horse called Pete. What they don’t know is that Pete is going blind.

Taffy’s Foal

Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1949, illus William Moyers

Nancy lives with her grandmother in Kentucky. Her horse, Taffy, is going to have
a foal. Nancy’s father wants her to come and live with him and his new wife in Chicago, but when she doesn’t fit in well at her new school, her father brings Taffy to Illinois. Taffy has her foal, a black colt, but she dies. Nancy is ill, and her friends rally round to try and save the colt.

Jill’s Victory

World, 1952, 184 pp, illus Edward Shenton

Jill gets involved with 4-H and learns by doing when she and her American Saddlebred gelding Victory spend a year with her cousins Cissie and Jack.

Ride ‘em Peggy!

Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1950, 196 pp, illus Paul Brown

Peggy is horse made to the exclusion of everything else. Having riding lessons and a trip to a Colorado ranch make her more obsessed, not less, so Peggy’s mother thinks up a plan to try and widen Peggy’s interests.

Wild Horse Island

Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1951, 201 pp, illus Paul Brown

All the wild horses have been removed from Wild Horse island to make room for domestic horses. Jim hopes that the one wild mare who escaped the round up might return to the island again in winter, looking for food.

The Colt of Cripple Creek

World, 1952, 180 pp, illus Edward Shenton

Clint has a horse of his own, Gingerbread, and exciting places to play, including a secret cave. However, Clint’s father is failing as a farmer, and decides to try gold mining instead. The family have to move, but leave Gingerbread behind to be cared for by Ben, the ranch owner’s son. Clint mopes in his new home, and is upset when he sees how attached Gingerbread is becoming to Ben. Gradually Clint learns to come to terms with his feelings.


Children’s Press, Chicago, 1955, 95 pp, illus Dwight Mutchler

Tracy is the new girl at school, and feels shy until she is given a honey-coloured pony by her grandmother called Tizz.

Tizz Takes a Trip

Children’s Press, Chicago, 1956, 96 pp, illus Hildegard Lehmann

Tracy and Tizz help out Don with his paper round, and then the whole family go to grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving.

Tizz Plays Santa Claus

Children’s Press, Chicago, 1957, 96 pp, illus Dwight Mutchler

Tizz plays the part of the donkey in the school Christmas play, goes carol singing and is dressed up as Santa Claus to visit a sick girl on Christmas Day.

Tizz and Company

Children’s Press, Chicago, 1958, 95 pp, illus Keith Mutchler

Don teaches his sister Tracy’s pony to do tricks, and then thinks of a way of making money out of it.

Tizz is a Cow Pony

Children’s Press, Chicago, 1963, 93 pp, illus Susanna Suba

Don, Tracy and Tizz visit their uncle on his ranch in Colorado. Don gets to ride a horse, Tracy learns to exist away from home, and Tizz gets to herd cattle.

Tizz on a Pack Trip

Children’s Press, Chicago, 1961, 94 pp, illus Susanne Suba

While they’re staying at their uncle’s ranch, Don takes Tizz on a trip to the Glacier National Park. Tracy stays on the ranch and learns to ride the big horse Frosty.

Tizz on a Horse Farm

Children’s Press, Chicago, 1964, 95 pp, illus Hildegard Lehmann

Don, Tracy and Tizz go to a California Thoroughbred farm. They see a foal being born, and see how the young racehorses are trained.  

Tizz in Cactus Country

Children’s Press, Chicago, 1964, 94 pp, illus Hildegard Lehmann

Don and Tracy have moved to Arizona. Don feels left out because he has no horse or friends, but then a stray horse comes to visit Tizz.

Tizz on a Trail Ride

Children’s Press, Chicago, 1966, 94 pp, illus Hildegard Lehmann

Tracy, Tizz and Don go on a two week long trail ride from Corpus Christi to San Antonio, Texas.

Tizz in Texas

Children’s Press, Chicago, 1966, 93 pp, illus Hildegard Lehmann

Tracy and Tizz have a 150 mile trail ride which ends at the San Antonia Stock Show. They get
to go in the Parade. Don hopes to buy a horse at the Show.

Tizz at the Stampede

Children’s Press, Chicago, 1968, 94 pp, illus Hildegard Lehmann

The Hills family visit the Edmonds family in Canada for the Calgary Stampede. Although Tracy does get to ride Tizz in the parade, she finds it difficult to get on with tomboy Sheila Edmonds.

tizz in the Canadian Rockies

Children’s Press, Chicago, 1968, 92 pp, illus Hildegard Lehmann

Tracy and Tizz go hiking in Canada with Don and her parents.

Tizz at the Fiesta

Children’s Press, Chicago, 1970, 95 pp, illus Hildegard Lehmann

Tracy, Don and Tizz visit their grandparents in Mexico. Tracy hopes that the noise of the crowd and the muskets doesn’t upset Tizz when they ride in the Fiesta.

Tizz South of the Border

Children’s Press, Chicago, 1971, 94 pp, illus Hildegard Lehmann

The Hills family and Tizz go to Mexico. While they’re on a riding trip, Tizz is taken by an old
man who thinks that Tizz is his old burro.


Palomino and Other Horses

World Publishing Company, 1950, ed & Illus Wesley Dennis

Fourteen horse stories including an excerpt from The Horse Called Pete