Pony books, pony stories or pony fiction form a genre in children's literature of stories featuring children, teenagers, ponies and horses, and the learning of equestrian skills, especially at a pony club or riding school.
Development of genre
Pony books themselves began to appear in the late 1920s. In 1928 British lifestyle magazine Country Life published Golden Gorse's The Young Rider which went to a second edition in 1931, and a third in 1935. In the preface to the third edition, the author wrote: "Since then the outlook on children and their ponies has changed very much for the better." She also noted an increase in equestrian pastimes: "Five children seem to be learning to ride today for one who was learning seven years ago."
A critic noted in 1996 that the genre had "been relegated firmly to the sidelines".
A 2009 article posed whether readers of pony-series fiction could do more than simply get another book in the series, much as a young collector of My Little Pony toys would be compelled to add to their collection. The article noted an alternative view of the value of pony fiction; it introduces young readers to wider literature.
Authors of pony books
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- Belinda Rapley
- Kitty Barne
- Gillian Baxter
- Judith Berrisford
- Jeanne Betancourt
- Joanna Cannan
- Joanna Campbell
- Peter Clover
- Primrose Cumming
- Ruby Ferguson
- Mary Gervaise
- Golden Gorse
- Marguerite Henry
- Patricia Leitch
- Jenny Oldfield
- K. M. Peyton
- Pullein-Thompson sisters Josephine, Diana, and Christine
- Stacy Gregg
- Allen W. Seaby
- Pat Smythe
- Mary Treadgold
- Will James
- The pair of schoolgirls, Katharine Hull and Pamela Whitlock, who wrote The Far-Distant Oxus (1937
- Cridland, Clarissa (5 November 2010). "Pony Books: A Brief Introduction". collectingbooksandmagazines.com. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
- Kendrick, Jenny (Winter 2009). "Riders, Readers, Romance: A Short History of the Pony Story". Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures. 1 (2): 183–202. doi:10.1353/jeu.2010.0012.
- Thiel, Liz (January 2002). "The Dark Horse: Ruby Ferguson and the Jill Pony Stories". The Lion and the Unicorn. 26 (1): 112–122. doi:10.1353/uni.2002.0012.
- Tucker, Nicholas (1982). "The Child and the Book: A Psychological and Literary Exploration". Cambridge UP. Cambridge (161).
- Haymonds, Alison (1996). "Pony Books". In Hunt, Peter. International Companion Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature. London: Routledge.
- Moss, Elaine (1976). "On the Tail of the Seductive Horse". Signal (19): 27–30.
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