Monday, 31 December 2007
Sunday, 30 December 2007
Thursday, 27 December 2007
It is reasonably unique in that the story is told by four different characters, all of whom play a major role in the story, Not unlike DPT’s Pony to School actually as they share the story telling throughout, although Katy has first and last (well last proper) say.
The Main character, in that I mean whom the story focus’s on, is Kathleen (known as Katy). The story begins with Katy jumping her very good jumping pony Larke in the leading Junior show jumper at Hoys. She is here with two other central characters (who also tell the story) John, also competing with his jumping pony Greystones and international show jumper Jane, who is also the local pony club DC.
Larke collapses during her round and a heartbroken Katy shies away from contact with horses for a whole year, save a passing interest in Larkes Dam, Gay, (a new Forest pony living in the forest) and the Milkman’s Cob, Happy, whom she first met (and grew to love)as a 7 year old child.
On hearing the Dairy are to change to vans, and Happy will be sold, Katy decides to buy him. With Jane’s help they buy Happy (the Happy prince, as Jane calls him) at auction and Katy sets about schooling him under saddle once more.
A day out hunting proves to all Happy scope and jumping ability as while bolting with Katy he clears a 5ft 3 hedge the rest of the field have spurned in favour of a lower gate…however Katy, not expecting him to jump, is thrown and concussed, and although happy to ride after finds she has lost her nerve where jumping is concerned. Jane is rather a strong, harsh character and finds Jane loss of nerve irksome and has little patience but Jane’s brother Andrew (who also joins in the story telling) proves a more mellow and sympathetic character and it is he who helps Katy regain her nerve, even if one of his methods is somewhat unorthodox) and soon Katy and Happy, as always accompanied by John and greystones, are ready for their First Show. After an initial setback with crowds, happy proves that he may have been a Milkman’s cob but now he is a real force to be reakoned with in the jumping ring and despite a few adventures along the way, including rescuing Gay’s foal from a bog, Happy jumps his way (with a little help from Katie) to the Hoys. Here he helps Katy achieve what Larke died trying, albeit we find out with a little help from Katy’s guardian Angel, Andrew.
A beautifully written book and a real rags to riches story, and after all we love an underdog don’t we? June groves characters are very well developed and it does leave you wondering if they are based on real people as they are incredibly real, maybe it’s the writing style of telling the story in the first person (or persons in this case). The Authors dedication gives away there was a real Happy, but whether or not he too was a milkman’s cob is not stated.
Find a copy and devour it, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
On a negative note the illustrations do not do the lovely story justice what so ever unfortunately, but do not let this put you off.
Friday, 21 December 2007
Thursday, 20 December 2007
Monday, 17 December 2007
Tuesday, 11 December 2007
Well it was better than yesterday and started with an xmas play so can't be that bad really!Plus my copy of the Mandrake arrived, Sabre arrived saturday so only need Crab now. Was very happy as Mandrake is in immaculate condition and as a bonus came with a good jacket when I wasn't expecting one! Lionel Edwards illustrations are just stunning...I am deeply jealous of anyone who can draw...I struggle with stick people.....his horses could just stroll out of the page and he also draws people well too as some authors seem to do one or the other.
Then i have just found a reasonably priced copy of Unforgettable Fifth at Trebizon to top it off. But have been here before and last time it had sold but have seen another reasonably priced copy and there is one on ebay tomorrow too so hopefully one of them will have my name on it! Getting a bit worried actually as although buying pony books, it's the non ponies I am reading. Currently doing Bogwoppit before it moves to a new home. I might try her pony books next as had forgotten what a good story teller she is. Ah but which one.....?
Friday, 7 December 2007
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
It's not so bad if the change is suitable such as CPT's The Doping Affair becoming The Pony Dopers, which made sure the audience was aware it was a child's pony book. Dream of Fair Horses and it's American counterpart The Fields Of Praise are okay if you have actually read the book, on the other hand if you have you probably won't part with it for 'a quarter horse' (or your equivalent) so wouldn't be looking anyway. I have just found out Janet Young Rider aka Horse For The Holidays is also aka Last Summer To Ride, which I was rather pleased to find out about as it was in my shopping basket to purchase tonight! What either subsequent title has to do with the first is beyond me? I was also caught out by the Kestrels/Horseshoe's series. I imported the Horseshoes from USA to find I already had them as Kestrels. I should have known really as some have same title and some have very subtle differences like The Perfect horse/The Special Pony and Jumping lessons/Pony To Jump.
I admit to buying several editions of the same book, sometimes, because I like all of them and can't decide which one to have but it's so infuriating when you've spent rather too much on one to find you've had it years (and aren't that fussed about it to boot!).
Saying all this one of my favourite books is K M Peyton's Free Rein/Last Ditch. I spent far too much buying Free Rein, as I loved the cover, knowing full it was the same book I had spent a small fortune the year before as Last Ditch. But at least I knew and it wasn't a surprise. Not all suprises are good.
Sunday, 25 November 2007
This one really has to take the Golden Carrot for worse cover.
Can't be Sea king and Jennifer as they did not feature after part way through Challenge.
Saturday, 24 November 2007
So back to one of life's great questions how many rugs do 2 horses need?
Tuesday, 20 November 2007
Thursday, 15 November 2007
Yesterday I received a 'new' (to me) copy of one of my favourite pony books. It was a first edition of Prince Among Ponies by Josephine Pullein-Thompson. I have a somewhat battered paperback I have had since a child (and read hundreds of times hence battered appearance) but have been after the first ed for a couple of years now. One because I am trying to replace all my paperback copies with first ed's HB's where applicable and two because it has the most beautiful dust wrapper illustration. I read a post on another blog quite recently about best and worst covers and receiving this book made me remember it and also got me thinking how my favourite books in my collection (story wise) are not necessarily my favourite books (as in ones that look good on the shelf!).
So this a somewhat shallow post I admit.
Being a cowgirl at heart I had to pick this one. Norman Thelwell's cartoons are hilarious and sum up our relationships with our equine friends perfectly. I am also biased owning Harry who is straight out of a Thelwell cartoon (not to mention his antics).
Again I am being shallow and love the rarity of this one but also the stunning golden pony who reminds me very much of a horse in a book I had as a child, a stunning Akhel-Teke in the most amazing shade of palomino you ever did see...just like polished gold.
I do like this story, especially as it's a true one and this picture on the jacket is stunning. The CBC edition for some reason went with a hunting pic that is not a patch on this. I also like the photo of the real Rosina Copper that can be found inside the flap on this dust wrapper.
Adonis is equisite on this one with his lovely 'breedy' Araby head....most little girls dream pony I think.
Thursday, 8 November 2007
Wednesday, 7 November 2007
Sunday, 4 November 2007
Friday, 2 November 2007
Wednesday, 31 October 2007
Sunday, 28 October 2007
Sunday, 14 October 2007
Tuesday, 9 October 2007
Back to poo picking in the dark already.....or i am the only person out there stupid enough to do this? Last week it was sort of light, yesterday morning...BANG....it was pitch black and only just coming light when I had to get off to work. Peeing it down too this morning...oh the joys of having horses!
On the other hand the funny little things they do never fail to raise a smile...how Harry gets on his knees (but never when I brandish the camera) to eat grass under the electric fence and how as soon as it's off he tries to lift out the fence posts with his teeth (grr...just love them don't ya) or simply leans over it. How today Murphy meandered down to have a drink in a 'dozen looped serpentine' sort of fashion, then promptly galloped back up he top like his bottom was on fire.
Friday, 5 October 2007
Good job I'm not a horse she would have been flat on her face with a hoof (or two) in her back!!!
Saturday, 29 September 2007
An epic horse story the cover proclaimed! And epic it was, one of the most enjoyable books I have read for a while. Not since I read the Man From Snowy River I and II have I 'devoured' a book, as I did with this, I just couldn't wait to see what would happen next. It took a few chapters to really get going and get into this book, but once again K M Peyton proved what a fantastic author she is. Several of my books about her quote 'There are few born story tellers but K M Peyton is one of them' How true this is.
Initially I was not sure of Tessa and quite where she was going, but you couldn't help but warm to this mixed up young girl, how many real Tessa's are there pleading for help out there you wonder? As for Buffoon, the raw-boned and ugly TB, well everyone loves an underdog and the clever way his past and present were linked to Tessa, another under dog, was fantastically portrayed. I guess some people would liken this to both Free Rein (Last Ditch) and Darkling, and indeed it does have elements of both these wonderful stories - Battling against adversity and a difficult family life and the obvious comparison to Free Rein of running a horse in the National.
But unlike Free Rein we were taken on a journey with Tessa and Buffoon and shared the highs and lows and although somewhat predictable (or it would have been for any other author) and a little unbelievable I was willing Tessa and Buffoon to win and did hope for once a happy ending. Fortunately on this occasion K M Peyton did not disappoint. Not that she ever does but I like the fact her books are usually very realistic and not always happily ever after, in fact hardly any of her books end how one predicts which is why it was nice in this case that she chose to run with the predictable ending. After all Dogwood died trying, and this ending would not have been fitting to Buffoon; Jenny and Darkling part company at the end and even her younger books such as Swallow trilogy and Poor Badger do not have the ending you were expecting them to have.
Wednesday, 19 September 2007
Of course Penny wishes Pickle to be badly behaved and in true form Sue is deposited at a jump and breaks her arm. Penny haunted by remorse decides they can be friends and they agree to share Pickle. Happily ever after.
If anyone has any idea of Author and title, if it's not Penny and Sue, or knows of a copy please please contact me. Cheers
Sunday, 16 September 2007
I also found time to read K M Peytons High Horse Trilogy, which lead me to the title of this post. I am a great fan of K M Peytons work, especially her pony books, her books are beautifully written with believable and very real characters both human and equine. She is also not compelled to have a happy ever after ending and her books cover a wide range of subjects and ages. So many authors churn out the same but different time and time again, or 'borrow' a plot from several other books and chuck them in a blender (am I allowed to say that I wonder...well free speech and all that, I didn't mention any names did I ; )!
Back to Swallow books....At first when I realised the character was quite young I did wonder ( as I love her more grown up characters/books) but after a few pages I was hooked. Here is a book about a girl with a dream to own a pony, who yes does indeed get her dream pony. This is where it stops being like any other pony story of this subject as yes again she perseveres but to no avail. I though, ah yes but in Swallow Summer she will get there, but was wrong and was quite surprised by the twist the story took in Swallow The Star. I must say I was a little disappointed in how quickly Rowan got over the loss of Swallow and replaced him with Birdie but I guess this is a reflection of the throw away society we now live in and maybe how the author meant it to be perceived? I believe you offer a horse (indeed any animal) a home for life but sadly this is becoming less and less the case and the old cast off is quickly forgotten and replaced, as Swallow was. I guess K M Peyton was maybe also making the point that sometimes you have to realise a partnership is not going to work, however much you want it to and I guess there had to be consequences as the pony was not really ever Rowan's anyhow. For an author who deals with emotions and feelings so well usually i felt Rowan was a little cold and callous but maybe 12 year olds are? I wonder if there will be a spin off, so to speak, featuring Charlie, as I feel he is a character with great potential to fill another book or two.
Sunday, 2 September 2007
On the plus side I am now reading a lovely book by a lesser known but excellent pony author Catherine Harris. It's title is The Heronsbrooke Gymkhana. Quite different to many pony books as it centres around one day and is split into three parts - before the gymkhana, during and after, which i am yet to get to. Before we are introduced to some of the competitors and find out a little about them before they all come together with mixed fortunes at the Gymkhana. It is a voyage of discovery for several of them and until I get chance to read further am unsure of the outcomes but would imagine everyone lives happily ever after, which is more than Belinda would if I had my way.
Thanks for your comments by the way......I think posting is possible now but they are still not compatible between here and the other site but who cares anyway.