PBOTD 17th October: D A Young - Ponies in Secret

D A Young's Ponies in Secret (1955) is another book about a riding club, but it's also about what happens when power goes to people's heads. When the book opens our heroes are hugely excited by the prospect of a summer filled with ponies. They're even more excited when they learn there's a local riding club, but then they meet the people who run it, who are not actually much older than them, but have rigid ideas on what's what. The book is a well observed story of the wielding of power, and of how easy it is to misinterpret what people do.

Ponies in Secret is illustrated by Maurice Tulloch. I often burble on about how the classic pony book seems to exist in a sun-drenched eternal summer. The sky is blue, the grass is green, and the ponies all smart and glossy. Maurice Tulloch captures this vision in his pony book illustration. I do wonder if it made a difference from his hunting illustration, hunting necessarily being often rather bleak, as much of it takes place in the winter.

I think Ponies in Secret is the most sun-drenched of all the pony books he illustrated, and if I had to pick an illustration which sums up the pony book world of the 1950s, I think the one below would be it.

~  0  ~

More on D A Young (not much. Sorry.)
More on Maurice Tulloch


Popular posts from this blog

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

The changing face of Jill

My desert island pony books