Hoff, Syd

About the author

Syd Hoff (1912–2004) was an American cartoonist and writer who wrote many books for young children. He was known as the artist of the family when young; so much so that by the time his sister Dorothy was born, eight years after him, his pictures had taken up all spare room on the house walls. The one thing he could do at school was draw, and he won the John Wannamaker intercity drawing competition. After school he studied sign painting and drawing, and started selling cartoons to The New Yorker. He starred in a television series called Tales of Hoff, where he drew and told a children’s story. When trying to amuse his daughter Susan, who had a long series of operations, he told her a story about a dinosaur, eventually wrote it down, and the result was Danny and the Dinosaur, his first book. “The floodgates,” he wrote, “were now open.”

Finding the books
All seem reasonably easy to find; some appear to be in print, though details are sketchy.

Links and sources
The Syd Hoff website
Syd Hoff on Wikipedia

Bibliography (horse books only)


Harper , New York, 1961, 64 pp, illus the author
World’s Work, Tadworth, 1980

Chester is a wild horse who doesn’t want to be wild anymore. He goes off to search for something to do so that he can be loved and cared for.

The Horse in Harry’s Room

Harper & Row, New York, 1970, 32 pp, illus the author
HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2001, 32 pp, illus the author
World’s Work, Tadworth, 1979

Harry has a horse in his own room!


Harper & Row, New York, 1971, 32 pp, illus the author
World’s Work, Tadworth, 1972

Thunderhoof is captured by men; he’s treated well, but he bucks everyone off, and so is released back into the wild. When he’s back though, he realises he misses the men.

The Mule Who Struck It Rich

Little Brown & Company, New York, 1971, illus the author

Ida, the Bareback Rider

Putnam, New York, 1972, 31 pp, illus the author

Ida, who is a bareback rider in a circus, learns that it isn’t enough to be a star. All the circus acts have to work together to make a good circus.

Barney’s Horse

Harper & Row, New York, 1987, 32 pp, illus the author

Though he is used to the city streets, Barney’s horse becomes frightened of the noisy new
overhead trains.