PBOTD 10th August: Pauline Devine - Rider by the Lake
Author Pauline Devine has herself exhibited successfully at Dublin Show. As far as I know, her characters Eithne and Mandy of Riders by the Grey Lake don't reach those heights. They are as different as chalk and cheese, and there's no points of similiarity between their ponies or their parents either.
To make up for what is otherwise going to be a very short post, here's a glorious Pathé News clip of the 1935 Dublin Horse Show.
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…
I actually had no idea when I started reading the Jill books that a. Black Boy was actually supposed to be black, and b. Jill was not born in the 1960s. This does show just what an impact illustrators make on us. To many, many people, Black Boy will always be a piebald, and that is all down to Bonar Dunlop. He illustrated the first Knight Jill paperbacks in the 1960s, and provided internal illustrations for three titles. When these books were published, Black Boy became a piebald in the text as well. He remained piebald in every edition after that, and so 40 years' worth or so of Jill readers have a piebald Black Boy galloping about their imaginations.
By the time I’d actually bought all the books and finished the Jill series, I had realised that there were other ways of looking at Jill, as the versions I found included some of the old Armada paperbacks, illustrated by Caney. Caney’s Jill was quite a different creature to Bonar Dunlop’s – much less sophisticated but with a charm …
Welcome to the start of a new series in which I ask people
which five horse or pony books they'd take away with them on a desert island. (This
is all based on Desert Island Discs, a very long running radio programme here
in the UK where the great and the good choose which music tracks they'd take
with them were they to be cast away on a desert island). We'll assume, for the
sake of argument, that the five books are suitably packed in a waterproof
container and make it to shore unscathed. And that there are no beasties who
would fancy a nibble on the books .…
But moving on, I thought I'd start off by giving you my own
choice of books. I did toss up whether the lure of the book loved in childhood
would be enough to overcome the fact that, reading with a grownup eye, the book
didn't work its old magic, and so the books I've gone for are ones I still pick
up. Ruby Ferguson: Jill's Gymkhana
I had to start with Jill, who still has the same magnetic
charm for me s…