Thursday, 22 May 2014

PBOTD 22nd May: Marjorie Mary Oliver - Ponies and Caravans

Today's pony book is the third in the Bunts books: not really a series, the three books (The Ponies of Bunts, Sea Ponies and Ponies and Caravans) are loosely connected, with some of the adult characters appearing in all three books. My copy, as you can see, is a sad and shabby thing. Printed during wartime, the dustjackets for this title do seem to find it hard to make it through the years, and I kept this copy because it was the first I'd found with a dustjacket. Even though I found better ones later, I kept this because it looks so utterly pathetic, and it took on the role of the runt of the litter; the one I kept because I was pretty certain no one else would ever want it.*

Country Life, 1941, 1st edn (with Eva Ducat; photos by Jenefer)
The story's not massively exciting: it's Oliver's mixture as before - the healing power of the countryside, lots of Dartmoor ponies, and a gaggle of children let loose from the town. There is a bit of excitement towards the end, when the caravan has to make it across Dartmoor in time to buy Dartmoor ponies from an important stud that's being sold off, but otherwise this is a classic, sunlit, wander through the English countryside with ponies.

*  In case you're wondering, I did sell the book during my bookselling career when someone turned up who was desperate for a dustjacketed copy. The copy I have is sad and dustjacket-less.

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