Szymanski, Lois

About the author

Lois Szymanski was born in Maryland: one of seven, and a twin. Her favourite book was Marguerite Henry’s Misty of Chincoteague. It was a formative read. Not only did it inspire her to get her own pony, the ponies of Chincoteague and Assateague have galloped through many of her books. The family now has their own Chincoteague pony. Lois took her daughters to Chincoteague and took home a Chincoteague pony, Sea Feather, who was the subject of the book Sea Feather (1999).

Several of her other titles feature Chincoteague ponies, and her most recent books are non fiction titles about the ponies. Her one series is, it’s more accurate to say, a collection. All of the titles were originally published as standalone stories, but were re-badged by HarperFestival as the Charming Ponies series. Each book came with a gold charm.

Finding the books
All are easy to find, and most are in print.

Links and sources
Lois Szymanski’s website
Lois Szymanski on Angelfire


Charming Ponies
A Perfect Pony
A Pony Legend
A Pony Promise
A Pony to Remember
A Pony Named Patches
A Pony to the Rescue
A Pony in Need

Bibliography (horse books only)


Avon Books, New York, 1993, 90 pp, illus Mark Fresh

Republished as A pony Named Patches
HarperFestival, New York, 2008, 87 pp.

Matt has been sent to live with his aunt and uncle on Chincoteague. He finds a new friend, goes into the bait business with him, and tracks a wild pony foal on Asssateague.

A New Kind of Magic

Avon Books, New York, 1994, 85 pp, illus Doron Ben-Ami

Reprinted as A Pony to Remember
HarperFestival, New ork, 2007, 69 pp.

Jenny’s family move to the city after they sell their farm, and that means Jenny’s pony, Magic has to go too. When she gets to the city, she finds it difficult to make friends, and to find a new source of magic in her life. It comes from a surprising source.

Little Icicle

Avon Books, New York, 1995, 74 pp, illus Doron Ben-Ami

Republished as A Pony in Need

Set in Assateague, where Matt and Holly find a pony frozen in the ice. They go and get help – the pony’s still alive, but will she survive her terrible experiences?

A Perfect Pony

Avon Books, New York, 1996, 75 pp, illus Doron Ben-Ami
HarperFestival, New York, 2005, 70 pp.

At last Niki has enough money saved to buy her own pony. She goes to an auction, and before the sale, picks out the prettiest pony, white, a princess among ponies. However, a sick, neglected black pony is first up in the ring, and Niki thinks with her heart not her head, and buys it.

A Pony Promise

Avon Books, New York, 1996, 70 pp, illus Doron Ben-Ami
HarperFestival, 2005, 70 pp.

Tiffany discovers a family secret, and she swears not to share it but it almost breaks her heart. When a special family of ponies comes into her life, it teaches her about adoption in the wild, and she realises everything’s going
to be ok.

Little Blue Eyes

Avon Books, New York, 1997, 83 pp, illus Doron Ben-Ami

Republished as A Pony Legend
HarperFestival, New York, 1997, 70 pp.

Meg’s pony, Azure, is beautiful, and there’s something else different about him too. It’s as if he can read Meg’s mind. There’s a legendary white stallion who lives in the mountains: could he be Azure’s father, and the explanation of the magic in the valley?

Silver Lining

Camelot, New York, 1997, 72 pp, illus Doron Ben-Ami

Republished as A Pony to the Rescue
Harperfestival, New York, 2007, 80 pp

Amanda and Shannon hear about a long lost silver mine in their town. They’re both scared of different things: Amanda’s scared of the legend; Shannon’s scared of Amanda’s pony, Christa. Both girls have to struggle to over comes their fears.

On the Track (No 34, Thoroughbreds series)

HarperEntertainment, New York, 1999, 176 pp.

Ever since Melanie Graham came to live with her cousin Christina Reese, she’s had her eye on the track. She wants to be an exercise rider, and maybe a winning jockey. With her aunt Ashleigh’s Thoroughbreds. And she loves it. Finally, she’s discovered her calling. But Christina is jealous. Melanie desperately wants to continue her training, but is it worth losing her cousin’s friendship?

Sea Feather

Avon Books, New York,1999, 74 pp, illus Laurie Hardin

Re-issued and re-written as The True Story of Seafeather
Schiffer, 2012

Alison and her sister may find the pony of their dreams at the Chincoteague Island wild pony auction.

Jewel’s Magic

Harperfestival, 2009,

With Felicity Brown, Jennifer L Meyer

Wise mare Jewel guides a young girl on a dangerous quest.

Wild Colt

Schiffer Publishing Ltd, 2012

Told in verse, this is the story of a young colt, following his herd on Assateague. The book also includes a wildlife identification guide, discussion topics, and facts about wetlands.