Season of Ponies – Zilpha Keatley Snyder and Alton Raible- 133 pages
Pamela has been stuck at Oak Farm since she was small, living with her two aunts while her salesman father travels. She can remember a time before that, when she went along with him everywhere, and a time even longer ago when her mother was alive. Now, left behind again, summer on the farm seems endless and stifling. Even the mystical-looking amulet her father gave her, a present from her great-grandmother from before she was born, doesn’t seem to be having any effect–until Pamela hears a flute playing a wild melody, and goes to the window to see a herd of pale, delicately beautiful ponies and a boy who rides with them through the mist. Perhaps the amulet has brought some adventure to Pamela’s summer after all….
I got so excited thinking about Season of Ponies while I was reviewing The Bronze Pen that I had to read it again! So I took a few hours when I should have been washing the dishes, or maybe even sleeping, and instead revisited one of my most vivid childhood book memories. This story has been a part of my personal mythology since I was ten, when I found it at a RIF sale in the school gym (thank goodness for those!), and it was just as good now as it always has been. I’ll admit, I’m a horse lover, so the ponies have an added appeal for me; I even collect little blown-glass horses like the ones Pamela has in the book, and always think of you when I get a new one. Still, there’s something about the timeless mystery of adventures in a forest, the petulant and wild Ponyboy and the dreamlike quality of the whole story that sucks the reader in and won’t let go. The fantastical illustrations, even just in black and white, complete the whole evocative package to make a read that’s on my list of classics, even if nobody else agrees. You’re both my heroes. Thanks for making magic possible. Five stars, and I hope this title comes back into print with a cool new cover, like The Witches of Worm and The Egypt Game have.
Books this year: 92
Pages this year: 17,594