Johnson, Margaret Sweet and Helen Lossing Johnson

About the author

Margaret Sweet Johnson (1893–1964) and her mother, Helen Lossing Johnson are probably best known for their books about dogs. The family were lovers of nature and art, and Margaret Johnson’s father was a keen naturalist, specialising in ornithology. Helen Lossing Johnson, an artist, encouraged her daughter to study at the Academy of Design and the Art Students’ League in New York. Mother and daughter collaborated on many books, with Margaret Johnson carrying on after her mother’s death.

Finding the books
Wheaton published some of Margaret S Johnson’s titles in the UK, including Kelpie, but it is still easier to find in its American version. All her horse titles are relatively easy to find, though can edge towards priciness for copies with dustjackets which are not ex-library.

Links and sources
Terri A. Wear: Horse Stories, an Annotated Bibliography, Scarecrow Press, 1987
Dustjacket of Silver Dawn
Many thanks to Susan Bourgeau, Birte Scheel and Lisa Catz for all their help with this section.

Bibliography (horse books only)


Harcourt, Brace & Company, New York, 1942, 104 pp.

Written and illustrated by Margaret S. Johnson and Helen Lossing Johnson

The friendship between the horses Dick and Daisy starts when they are colts, and they are
unhappy unless they are together. Together they are until Dick is sold after he loses his nerve at jumping. They do finally meet again.

Dixie Dobie, a Sable Island Pony

Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York,1945, 90 pp.

Written and illustrated by Margaret S. Johnson and Helen Lossing Johnson

Dixie Dobie was a wild pony who lived on Sable Island near Nova Scotia. When she was a young colt she spent her days racing along the beaches with the other ponies, but one day men came to the island, drove the ponies into corrals, and took them on a ship bound for Nova Scotia. Dixie alone escaped when the ship was wrecked. She found shelter on the mainland and was tamed.

Red Joker

Morrow, New York, 1950, 95 pp, illus the author

“Ken allows his oddly coloured Irish setter Joker to be used as a companion for the nervous racehorse Ace of Diamonds and the dog stays with the horse even after it is stolen and taken to Mexico.”

Silver Dawn

William Morrow , New York,1958, 80 pp, illus the author

“Silver Dawn came from a long line of horses famous for their ability to jump and for their gentle, courageous temperament. Now the time had come to train her for her real career as a show jumper. Julia’s father ran a training stable, and with his advice Julia prepared Silver Dawn for the big show at New York’s Madison Square Garden, where the mare won a first prize. Unfortunately, Mr. Braddock found it necessary to sell her, so Julia and Silver Dawn had to part.”


Morrow, New York, 1962, 64 pp, illus the author

Wheaton, Exeter, 1963