Showing posts from August, 2015

Review: Victoria Eveleigh - Katy's Pony Challenge

The Katy stories were what established Victoria Eveleigh as an author. I read those when they were first out, and loved their inspired rejection of the pink, frilly and sentimental. The stories were picked up by Orion, re-written, and after an excursion into an excellent pony series centring around boy hero Joe, Victoria has returned to Katy and her Exmoors. Victoria Eveleigh never disappoints, and this book is another triumph. One of the things I so enjoy about this author is her fearlessness. If you write pony stories, you can, frankly, churn out any rubbish you like as long as it has the requisite pony in it.  Talking about the 1950s, children’s author Geoffrey Tre ase said ‘In those days you could have sold Richard III if you had given it the right wrapper and called it A Pony for Richard,’ but it’s just as valid now. Victoria Eveleigh does not do that. Katy’s Pony Challenge looks at what you do when you can’t actually ride your pony, for whatever reason. And what you

Kate Lattey - Pony Jumpers: First Fence, Double Clear and Triple Bar

I have kept putting off this review until I can read episode four, and the very newly released episode five Five Stride Line, but I am going to give that up. Not because I'm not enjoying the stories, because I am, very much, but  time to sit and read and consider seems to be eluding me at the moment. The Pony Jumpers is a series of novellas, each centring on a different character from Lattey's earlier Dream On. This very much plays to the author's strengths. There wasn't a character in  Dream On  that I didn't enjoy, or who I felt was poorly realised. Each of them read as if they were complete people, who could step out of the novel at any time and walk off into their own story. And Kate Lattey has picked up some of those characters, and allowed them to their own stories.  The series gives you thoroughly enjoyable, character-driven stories loaded with authentic content: just what we have come to expect from this author. She wrote them at great speed, which

Patricia Leitch, 1933-2015

Patricia Leitch, author, died on 28th July 2015. She wrote over 30 pony books, but she was anything but a genre writer. With A Dream of Fair Horses , and her Jinny series, she wrote books that transcended the usual girl plus pony story. Pat's heroine Jinny and her wild Arab mare Shantih were not the wish fulfilment that many pony book heroines are to their readers - the people who have what you most want in the world. Jinny was far more than that. To many of her readers, Jinny spoke directly to their hearts and souls. Her struggles to understand her world were theirs. Many people have written about their feelings since Patricia died, but the one that went straight to my heart was written by Sian-Valerie Shipley: "Patricia Leitch, there aren't words for the things you taught me... Courage, stubbornness, tenacity, a willingness to accept my own fallibility, and most of all, the deep and abiding love of a horse. I cherish every letter we exchanged. Wherever you are, kn