Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Crazy Quilt, Circus Pony

Crazy Quilt, Circus Pony: The Story of a Piebald Pony
Paul Brown, author and illustrator
1934, Charles Scribner's Sons

His coat shining like satin, he stepped into the ring. The first trick was the game of leap frog that he played with Flap Foot. First the pony knelt while the clown jumped over him. The Flap Foot bent over and Crazy Quilt jumped, taking great care not to touch his master as he did so.

A curiously speckled pinto pony finds a new home in the circus in the act of Flap Foot, a clown, and a new family when Flap Foot (actually Mr. Perkins) takes the act home for a vacation with his three children. Pam and Peter share Crazy Quilt and the donkey Oscar, while their little brother Piper takes the two dogs, Mick and Mac, and have a fun time riding and creating new acts for the four animals.

Bareback riding looked easy when one saw it in the circus ring. The twins soon found out that it was not as easy as it seemed. Peter learned that his shoes would not grip Crazy Qio;t's sleek hide. Pam discovered that even though the grassy pasture looked soft it was really very hard. They fell off on one side of the pony and they fell off on the other. The first trick riding was not a success.

Paul Brown's quality illustrations enliven a fairly meandering, unfocused book which generally looks at a circus family at home, and the fun they have with their highly trained animals.

Oscar is called a donkey but looks like a mule (although a mule which is about the same size as the Irish Wolfhound) and Brown's illustrations are inconsistent on which is taller, the pony or the donkey/mule. Crazy Quilt's markings are unusual - almost appaloosa spots on a basic pinto background.

Crazy Quilt - 5-year-old black and white pinto gelding pony
Oscar - donkey
Patchwork - pinto Shetland pony

Mick - Irish Wolfhound
Mac - Scottish Terrier

Other books by Author
Piper’s Pony (1935)
Pony Farm (1948)
Pony School (1950)
Sparkie And Puff Ball (1954)
Daffy Taffy (1955)

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