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Season of Ponies by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
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Season of Ponies (1964)

by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

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936198,049 (3.48)9
Pamela found living with two old aunts dreadful until the moment a boy moved out of the mist with a flute and a herd of weirdly beautiful ponies.

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» See also 9 mentions

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Undercooked.

Once the story is well under way Snyder develops some interesting parallels between Pamela's fantasy and reality, but it feels rushed. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
Dream? ?ŠReality? ?√ɬ°Magic? ?√ɬ°Let it go. ?√ɬ°Don't ask questions. ?√ɬ°Enjoy the adventure. ?√ɬ°Let it help you figure out who you are, what you want, and how to get it. ?√ɬ°Let it change your life.

Not one of Snyder's strongest, in some ways, but I fell under its spell. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Another wonderful book by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. Her fantasy is grounded in reality and feels believable. I loved these books as a child and I'm enjoying them again as an adult. This one felt like it happened in the hills here in Sonoma County. It is nice to see growth in the adults as well as the central child character. ( )
  njcur | Jul 9, 2015 |
Pamela, the young protagonist of this first Zilpha Keatley Snyder book, is bitterly disappointed when her traveling salesman father deposits her in the care of her aunts at Oak Farm. Her expectations of a dull summer are happily unfulfilled however, when the magic amulet that once belonged to her maternal grandmother summons Ponyboy, a wild, fairy-like boy, and his herd of pastel ponies.

This charming debut novel marked the beginning of a long and successful career for Snyder, who has been a runner-up three times for the Newbery Medal. It is set, like almost all of Snyder's stories, in her native California, and introduces the reader to her uniquely powerful conception of magic, in which the imagination itself plays such a crucial role. It is illustrated by the wonderful Alton Raible, with whom Snyder had a long-standing professional partnership (much like Ruth M. Arthur and Margery Gill). Snyder was one of my "kiddie-lit" projects for 2006, and this initial title provided a very good beginning... ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Jun 28, 2013 |
"Season of Ponies" isn't so much interesting as a book on its own as it is an indicator of Snyder's later work. So many of her persistent themes are already apparent: a young protagonist, trapped in a lonely old house with a curt authority figure and distant or absent parents; a direct use of imagination and imaginative play to help the protagonist grow; the mysterious play-partner; and, finally, a question of "What *is* real?" There are direct correlations to be made with "The Egypt Game" (one chapter is even called "The Circus Game") and, even more, "The Changeling." There are even links to Snyder's most recent work, "The Treasures of Weatherby" - over four decades later.

That's not to say "Season of Ponies" doesn't have an interesting story; any 8-year-old horse lover will adore the simple tale of Pamela's summer with her mysterious friend Ponyboy (a name that dates the book more than anything else). Fans expecting a deeper and more developed Snyder book might be disappointed, though; the chapters here are short and to the point, with prose that, while never condescending, never quite excites, either. This is very much Snyder-in-progress, and in many ways feels more like an expanded short story than anything novel-length.

Overall, though, Snyder's first book is a success; you can see why she was immediately successful as a children's writer and manages to remain readable to this day. Even the Alton Raible illustrations, so common to many of her books, are present here and quite enjoyable (being rather more cartoony than in later stories). Any Zilpha Keatley Snyder fan should hunt this one down, just to see how "Season of Ponies" sparked off a whole career of quality children's books. ( )
1 vote saroz | Jul 18, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Zilpha Keatley Snyderprimary authorall editionscalculated
Raible, AltonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Susan and Douglas
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The day began as June days are supposed to, in a burst of sunshine; but before noon, dark clouds were sweeping across the sky.
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