Scribner, New York, 1944, illus Edward Shenton
Peter Lunn, London, 1948, illus Lionel Edwards
Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1963, illus Victor Ambrus
Oxford University Press, pb, 1972
Reprinted in hardback, OUP, 1974
Jumper is the life story of a Siberian colt who became a Russian cavalry horse, having been requisitioned for the First World War. He is then mixed up in the Russian Revolution. The book I find most interesting at the beginning, when the contrast in how horses have to be looked after in Siberia and in the UK is very marked. There horses have no choice but to be stabled for months if not weeks on end because of the harshness of the winters. Jumper has an idyllic life on the farm until he is requisitioned. After this, the book is less involving: Jumper’s army career does not have the pathos of Joey’s in Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse, and the story is more interesting from an historical point of view than for the power of the story.