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Showing posts from May, 2016

A few reviews: Amanda Wills, Tudor Robins and Katherine Roberts

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It’s been a while since I did a review. A long while, in fact, so to start this particular horse off again, here are some short reviews of some short ebooks.

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Amanda Wills – The Pony of Tanglewood Farm Kindle: £0.99


This is aimed at a younger age than the author’s previous books (I’d say 7+ – reasonably confident readers). It’s a lovely read: tightly plotted, with good strong characters and authentic pony action. Heroine Alice had an accident when she was little, and ended up with a large scar on her face. It is, she thinks, the first and only thing anyone sees when they look at her, and she’s spent her life since (she’s nine) pushing people away. Alice spends most of her time at next door Tanglewood Farm, a rescue centre for animals.

Julia, the owner, never takes ponies, but she makes an exception for Star, and Alice helps him get better. At school things have improved too, with new girl Susanna becoming a friend. The problem is that all the animals at the rescue centre are up for r…

Horse Tales - Cambridge Conference May 2016

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I'll report later on what actually happened at the conference, but in the meantime, here is the text of what I said. This is the full version, because reading this lot out would have taken considerably longer than I was allowed so drastic pruning took place before the event. [Edited to add this is in a large part my fault. I know how many words you  need for five minutes, but was sort of hoping I could speak quickly and it would all be ok. Alas the stopwatch was not my friend, even with my million-mile-an-hour delivery, so cut it was.]

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I approach the pony book now from a similar perspective to many children today. I live in a world that is relatively horse-free. I no longer ride. I now live in the middle of a town, where the closest I get to a horse is the carved relief of a horse opposite our local Marks and Spencers.

The 1920s–1930s

That is not how the world was when the pony book as we know it was developing. In the 1920s and 1930s, the position of the horse was massively di…