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Showing posts from April, 2018

Ten pony book covers you’ll wish you hadn’t seen

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There are some wonderful pony book covers out there, and then there are the ones that stick in your mind for all the wrong reasons.


The original hardback edition of Gillian Baxter's Horses in the Glen had a prettycover by Elisabeth Grant. The Children's Book Club edition had something copied, rather badly, from Mathilde Windisch-Graetz's The Spanish Riding School.



 The Children's Book Club had form for producing iffy covers. Here is their version of Monica Dickens's Cobbler's Dream (which arguably is not a children's book anyway – or at least only for a child with a strong stomach). The Michael Joseph first edition is infinitely better.



Possibly the most glorious Children's Book Club effort is this one, for Monica Edwards's The Wanderer, which does make you wonder if the illustrator had ever seen an actual horse.


Fortunately the original artist, Joan Wanklyn, had.

Scholastic Book Services (who, like the Children's Book Club, did also produce som…

What to call your pony book

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Have you written a pony book? Writing a book is one thing, but thinking of a title for it is quite another. Do you tell the reader exactly what they’re going to get, or do you hint at it? Publishers in the past worked on the fair assumption that if you were looking for a pony book, the word ‘pony’ shoe-horned into the title would probably do the trick.
And going by the evidence of the eighty years of so that the pony book has been going, they were not wrong.
What do we want? We want a pony (and there’s a title for you for free, because as far as I know, no one’s snaffled that one, nor, oddly enough, He Wanted a Pony). Diana Pullein-Thompson kicked off her solo publishing career with I Wanted a Pony and Peggie Cannam followed with She Wanted a Pony.


There were titles that addressed the fantasy of owning a pony: the iconic Wish for a Pony, followed by Dream Pony (a popular title, this one), joined by A Very Special Pony, The Magic Pony and The Paradise Pony and Jill and the Perfect Po…