Cook, Olive Rambo

About the author

Olive Rambo Cook (1892–1981) was born on a farm. She was the only child of the family to survive infancy, and her mother died when she was young. The young Olive was brought up by her father and grandmother. She was educated at Chillicothe Business College, and lived in the area until she and her son moved after the death of her husband. She wrote six books, mostly with settings in Livingston. Two are horse stories; the posthumously published Trails to Poosey has horses in it.

An old friend, Mrs George Van Denventer, remembered some true stories appearing in Olive Rambo Cook’s books: “Serelda’s Star — that’s named for my mother — Seralda Dupy. In the book Locket, there’s a story based on my mother’s brother. He swapped his dollar watch for an Indian pony. The Indians had trained the pony and if you touched its knee he’d kneel down so you could get on him easy and quick.”

Finding the book
Serilda’s Star is the easier of the two to find, as it was published in paperback. Locket can be tricky.

Links and sources
Terri Wear: Horse Stories – An Annotated Bibliography
Thank you to Lisa Catz for the summaries
Olive Rambo Cook, Constitution Tribune, 1 June 1988 (link no longer works)

Bibliography (horse books only)

Serilda’s Star

Longmans Green, New York, 1959, 176 pp, illus Helen Torrey
Washington Square Press, 1970, pb

Kirkus review

A review of Serilda’s Star

Normally shy Serilda surprises her family when she trades her precious gold locket for a horse who is about to be shot. The mare becomes an important member of the family, even saving the life of Serilda’s brother Jeff. Serilda enters Star at the fair, where there is a man who recognizes Star, and he tells Serilda and her father how well bred the mare is. Not long afterwards, Star is missing, and presumed stolen. A reward is offered, but months go by, without hearing any word about Star.


D  Mckay Co, New York, 1963, 148 pp,  illus Helen Torrey

Kirkus review

Horse lover Serilda has three horses of her own on her father’s Missouri farm. There is Star, Locket, Star’s first filly, and now there is Teka, the younger filly. Serilda would like to show off Locket at the fair, but needs a new harness and buggy. Locket works for the circus and earns the money. However, the new buggy and harness add to Locket’s nervousness, and when she is charged by another horse, and a dog fight starts beneath her hooves, it looks like the blue ribbon may be out of Serilda’s reach

Trails to Poosey

Misty Hill Press, 1986, pb