Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Pony For Linda
C.W. Anderson, author and illustrator
1951, Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc.

Once she had a ride on a little pony in a ring. It was a lazy, sleepy little pony, but Linda loved it. She talked about it for many days afterwards.

And here you have the reason it was possible to read Anderson's work - filled with upper-middle-class girl children whose lives are bursting with stables and wise old grooms and racehorses and ponies - and not absolutely loathe and hate him. He made his characters burn with desire, and although their desire was always for more than we even bothered wanting - I just wanted a horse, most of his characters wanted the next Man O'War - it was impossible not to identify with the passion. And he gets little stuff right, like how much a pony ride means to a little girl who desperately wants a pony.

Of course, Linda has something even better - a promise from her daddy that when she turns seven, she'll get a pony. And, true to his word, he produces a little pinto pony. And Linda is a very happy little girl. As her riding improves, she attends her first horse show and makes a new friend.

Horses/Ponies/Other Animals
Joker - gray gelding
Dinah - horse
Daisy - black and white pony mare
Peter - pet rooster

I've become fascinated by the tack in illustrations, something I never noticed as a child. Here, Daisy seems to be wearing a curb bit and a running martingale, as does the friend's pony at the horse show. Dinah, the horse belonging to Linda's mother, seems to wear a double bridle and running martingale, as does Joker, her father's horse. All wear the old-style jodhpurs with the billowing upper legs.

Other picture books by Anderson
Billy And Blaze
Blaze And The Gypsies
Blaze And The Forest Fire
Blaze Finds The Trail
Blaze And Thunderbolt
Blaze And The Mountain Lion
Blaze And The Indian Cave
Blaze And The Lost Quarry
Blaze And The Gray Spotted Pony
Blaze Shows The Way
Blaze Finds Forgotten Roads
Linda And The Indians
The Crooked Colt
Pony For Three
Lonesome Little Colt

1 comment:

Mama Squirrel said...

One of my favourite childhood picture books! Thanks for the memories.