Saturday, 24 November 2007

Review: DIANA - Ponies In Peril

Ponies in Peril is this week's book. It is also the final installment in the Sandy and Fergus series. It was first published in 1979.

The blurb reads:-

The six ponies stood under the trees, watching us warily.

"Beautiful, aren't they?" said Jake. "Terrible to think that they'll end up on someone's dinner table."

When Sandy and Fergie learn that the ponies are destined for slaughter, they are determined to save them. If only they can raise the money to buy them, they can break them in and sell them to good homes. But how will they find six hundred pounds in two weeks? It seems hopeless - the ponies are surely doomed...

Like the first one in the series, the horses are more of a subplot, this is about raising money and community spirit. However, unlike Ponies in the Valley the horses are more predominent, as obviously, the money is for the ponies. But that is one thing that only takes up a quarter of the book, as in all pony books, it is pretty obvious that in the end they get the ponies.

The trials and tribulations of the ponies, being broken in, takes up a good part of the book, and is an enjoyable read. Unlike most pony books, they dont keep them.

It is also quite unique is that all the sisters chose to use the same name for a pony. One of the ponies here is called Jigsaw. The name Jigsaw also appears in the following books by Josephine: Pony Club Challenge and Pony Club Trek. In Christine, the entire Black Pony Inn series features a Jigsaw, and also in the book Sundance Saves the Day. However, as Sundance Saves the Day is based on Julip horses, and the names were Julip's choosing and not Christine's.

As it is a final part of the series, I feel that it doesnt do it justice at the end. Although there is a satisfactory outcome to the end of the book, unlike the Pony Seekers series, there isnt a natural conclusion. I feel that Diana could have taken the series further, perhaps she got fed up of them or this one didnt sell as well?


Jane said...

When I read this first, I was struck by the fact Diana had decided to use six ponies, which of course Josephine did in "Six Ponies". I wonder if she chose it deliberately to see how it came out.

pullein-thompson-archive said...

You know what? I missed that point entirely. Probably due to the rotten head cold I had last week.

But the more I think about it, there are some similarities with Six Ponies. Perhaps Diana was doing her own version of Six Ponies?