Joanna Cannan: Gaze at the Moon

Dinah and her family are moving from the country to the town, to a house that has mod-cons but nowhere to walk that smells of the woods and where you can see fields. But Dinah carries on painting, and even finds somewhere she can ride. How Dinah forges her own path makes this a story that is just as involving as when it was first published in 1957.

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Joanna Cannan: I Wrote a Pony Book

Alison is at boarding school. When her English teacher sarcastically suggests she writes a book, Alison does. Writing a book is tough, particularly when you are at school, and the people you thought were friends turn out not to be. But Alison is a true Cannan heroine. She goes her own way, and she works to achieve what she wants.

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Joanna Cannan: More Ponies for Jean

It is wartime, and Jean Leslie has had to leave school. Jean comes back from school to a different world, one in which she needs to work to provide for her ponies. After a chance encounter with a child who has been bought a pony she can’t ride, Jean finds herself with a pupil. And so, as more children clamour for tuition, Jean starts a riding school with her friend Judy.

This book was written during World War II, and it reflects the attitudes and laws of the time, when hunting was legal.

Available as an eBook, and as a fully illustrated paperback.

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Joanna Cannan: They Bought Her a Pony

Angela Peabody has everything she wants. Absolutely everything. She has only to ask, and its hers. And then she moves to the country and thinks that what she wants is a pony. She gets one of course: Flash, the pony she rides at her smart London riding school. Angela thinks she’s a wonderful rider, but once Flash is away from the riding school, things very soon fall apart.

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Josephine Pullein-Thompson: A Job with Horses

Glorious, simply glorious. (Amazon review Mar 2022)

It’s always been the two of them: just Kate and her mother. But now her mother has remarried, and has a new baby. Kate is happy about none of this. She’s offered a job at a castle being in sole charge of children’s ponies, and horses used for jousting. Kate has the normal sort of worries anyone has about their first job: will she cope? Will the children like her? This book has all the Pullein-Thompson technical detail you expect as Kate teaches three children who’ve taught themselves to ride that there is a Better Way, as well as schooling the horses used for jousting.

Combining solid horse detail with adventure, this is the last fictional title Josephine Pullein-Thompson wrote, and it’s one of her best.

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Josephine Pullein-Thompson: All Change

The Conways have lived at Charnworth all their lives, and they love it. They love the farm, and the estate where their father is the land agent. But now Lord Charnworth has died, and the estate has been sold to a Mr Smithson, a financier from the city. The family know that things can’t possibly stay the same, but Mr Smithson seems determined to listen to strident modernising voices, and not their father, and the relationship between him and Mr Conway deteriorates by the day. But the Conways are determined to fight back, with the help of their mysterious new friend, Nick.

Originally published: 1961

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Josephine Pullein-Thompson: I Had Two Ponies

“I don’t want to spend the Easter holidays grooming a beastly muddy pony.” And so Christabel’s father sells her ponies. Christabel gets over it pretty quickly, but then she goes to stay with the Westlakes while her parents are away. She comes to bitterly regret selling her ponies. But will she ever be able to find them again? In a pre-internet age, it’s not easy.

Note: the paperback is fully illustrated, with all the original Anne Bullen drawings. The eBook is not illustrated.

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Josephine Pullein-Thompson: One Day Event

Mrs Van Cutler’s opinion is worth having, says the Major to his nephew, Henry. But Mrs Van Cutler did not like Henry’s dressage test, not at all. Major Holbrooke offers to do a course for Henry and the Pony Club to improve their generally dismal performances, but it will be an eventing course and not just dressage. And at the end, there will be a One Day Event.

The paperback has all the original Sheila Rose illustrations; the eBook is not illustrated.

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Josephine Pullein-Thompson: Pony Club Camp

The last glorious swansong of the West Barsetshire Pony Club sees the Major run a camp for the Pony Club members. Noel and Henry have now left school and have returned as instructors to deal with the loose and the runaway, and that’s just the ponies. The Pony Club members are even worse. Pony Club Camp is filled with extraordinarily vivid characters who will stay with you long after you finish the book. And it ends on a note that has tantalised readers ever since the book was published.

Originally published: 1957

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Josephine Pullein-Thompson: Pony Club Challenge

The Woodbury Pony Club have been challenged to take part in a tetrathlon by the neighbouring Cranford Vale Pony Club. It’s going to mean a lot of training, fast. Their cross country is improving, but that’s not going to be enough, and they only have three weeks to improve their swimming, running and target shooting. They’re starting to get better, but then a disastrous attempt to practise threatens to ruin everything …

Originally published: 1984

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Josephine Pullein-Thompson: Pony Club Cup

No one likes the Woodbury Pony Club, not even its members. They’re so awful, they don’t think they’re up to entering the competition for second division pony clubs like them. And then they get a new District Commissioner – but what can an ex-jockey teach them and their terrible ponies? Quite a lot, it turns out, if you’re prepared to be open minded. Wild, whirling Jupiter and his hapless owner Hanif, and ewe-necked Saffron, grudgingly hired for Alice for the holidays by her aunt, can be improved. There is hope. They might even be able to enter for the cup …

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Josephine Pullein-Thompson: Pony Club Team

Major Holbrooke’s friends challenge him to prove that the West Barsetshire Pony Club can improve. The only way of making sure that they do is by taking them back to basics and running a course for them: it’s dressage all the way. Nothing runs smoothly, of course, and when the Major’s nephew, Henry, arrives, sparks fly.

This edition uses the full first edition text: the paperback editions were cut. The paperback includes all the beautiful original Sheila Rose drawings.

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