Pony book

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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[edit]

The 1877 novel Black Beauty, although about a horse and not a pony, is seen as a forerunner of pony book fiction.[1][2]

Pony books themselves began to appear in the late 1920s.[1] 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."[1]

Critical commentary[edit]

The pony book genre is "frequently deemed idealistic,"[3] "cater[ing] for those typical fantasies of perfect friendship with an idealized companion."[4]

A critic noted in 1996 that the genre had "been relegated firmly to the sidelines".[5]

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.[2] The article noted an alternative view of the value of pony fiction; it introduces young readers to wider literature.[6]

Authors of pony books[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Cridland, Clarissa (5 November 2010). "Pony Books: A Brief Introduction". collectingbooksandmagazines.com. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  2. ^ a b c 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.
  3. ^ a b c 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.
  4. ^ Tucker, Nicholas (1982). "The Child and the Book: A Psychological and Literary Exploration". Cambridge UP. Cambridge (161).[3]
  5. ^ Haymonds, Alison (1996). "Pony Books". In Hunt, Peter (ed.). International Companion Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature. London: Routledge.[3]
  6. ^ Moss, Elaine (1976). "On the Tail of the Seductive Horse". Signal (19): 27–30.[2]
  7. ^ a b c d "Josephine Pullein-Thompson Collection". Collections - Special Collections. Retrieved 2020-06-23.