Monthly Archives: March 2012

Why are there so few horses in picture books?

Cover of Doctor HoofPony-mad girls love reading about horses and ponies. That’s why there are so many pony books published. But nearly all of them are novels aimed at children who can read for themselves.

The situation is quite different for the under 6s. Picture book stories feature loads of rabbits and bears, quite a lot of penguins and a fair sprinkling of elephants. But, with the exception of the books linked to the My Little Pony toys, there are very few horses and ponies.

That can’t be because of lack of demand. Those pony-mad girls grow into pony-mad mums who want to read pony stories to their toddlers. So I suspect the true reasons for this shortage must be horses themselves and the special problems they present to picture book writers and illustrators. Continue reading