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More Ponies for Jean: John C Adams Reviews

Book name: More Ponies for Jean

Author: Joanna Cannan

Publisher: Collins

Format: Print, ebook

Genre: Pony book

Publication Date: 1943

Star Rating: 5/5

Joanna Cannan could be claimed as the originator of the pony book.

She wrote many other novels and short stories, but in this review I am going to concentrate on her work as an author of pony stories.

Joanna Cannan’s first pony book was called A Pony for Jean (1936) and it was followed in 1938 by Another Pony for Jean.

By now, Jean owns Cavalier and Charity. When war breaks out in 1939, she is removed from school and told she’ll be remaining at home to help her mother.

Jean’s irritable father, with whom she often spars, is back in the army.

Times are harder financially and, although Jean is delighted to leave school behind her, her return home is marred by the news that the family can’t afford to keep two ponies.

When Jean encounters the spoilt Susan out hunting, she is amused and repelled by her behaviour and by her lack of ability to ride.

Susan’s mother admits that she only bought Tamarisk for her daughter because riding was fashionable.

The family have recently been evacuated and they, like many others in that situation, have little experience of the country.

Jean’s friend Judy is on hand to encourage Jean to accept when Susan’s mother asks Jean to teach the child how to ride.

A riding school is soon born out of this first opportunity when Susan’s mother recommends Jean and Judy to other families in the area.

Charity and Cavalier, plus Judy’s family ponies and Jean’s cousin’s pony, all play their part.

Much of the emphasis in More Ponies for Jean is placed on how a child is improved by riding and, well, frankly just being around horses. We all know how horses work their magic on us, young and old, so I loved the way that the book captured this spirit.

Jean is funny and always her own person. She makes lots of mistakes, is honest about them and can always laugh at herself. This makes her one of my favourite pony-book heroines.

I mentioned at the top of this review how important Joanna Cannan was in the genesis of the pony book, and of course we know that this is in part due to the influence of her three daughters: the Pullein-Thompson sisters. However, this is also due to the enjoyability of her own books too.

Thank you for reading my review.

John C Adams Reviews More Ponies for Jean

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