Phillis Garrard

New Zealand author. More famous for her school stories than pony books, although her popular 'Hilda' school series does feature some horse content. She also wrote two stand-alone pony stories, both of which are quite quirky and humourous. They are aimed at the younger pony lover but are written well enough with enough humour to keep older readers' attention.

The publishing history of the books is a little strange. The Hilda series was published in the author's native New Zealand and reprinted in the UK, but her other two pony books were only published in the UK and USA respectively and as far as I know not published in New Zealand or Australia at all.

Hilda Series
Horse content varies, more of a school series than an equine one however.

1) HILDA AT SCHOOL
aka HILDA'S ADVENTURES (Revised 1936 Blackie edition)
(BLACKIE  [NZ] 1929)
ILLUSTRATED BY RADCLIFFE WILSON
Reprinted in hardback by Blackie a few times including UK edition.
Revised edition published by Blackie in 1936 - see Collector's Info section
Reprinted in hardback by Hodder & Stoughton in 1984
EDITION PICTURED: UK edition.
SUMMARY: School story with slight horse content. Hilda lives on a remote sheep farm in New Zealand and must get to school on horseback!

2) THE DOINGS OF HILDA
(BLACKIE  [NZ] 1932)
ILLUSTRATED BY RADCLIFFE WILSON
Reprinted in hardback by Blackie a couple of times including UK edition.
EDITION PICTURED: UK edition.
SUMMARY: School story with slight horse content, follows the adventures of Hilda after she turns thirteen.

3) HILDA'S ADVENTURES
(BLACKIE  [NZ] 1938)
ILLUSTRATED BY RADCLIFFE WILSON
Reprinted in hardback by Blackie a couple of times including UK edition.
Reprinted in hardback by Hodder & Stoughton in 1984.
Not to be confused with the 1936 book of same name!
EDITION PICTURED: UK edition.
SUMMARY: Hilda gets involved in rescuing a friend's horse when her father threatens to sell him.

4) HILDA FIFTEEN
(BLACKIE  [NZ] 1944)
ILLUSTRATED BY D. L. MAYS
Reprinted in hardback by Blackie including UK edition.
EDITION PICTURED: UK edition.
SUMMARY: School story with slight horse content. Hilda is now fifteen years old as the title may suggest! She and her friends must contend with an unpleasant new teacher.

Other editions:

NEW ZEALAND SCHOOL GIRL
(BLACKIE  [UK] 1938)
Reprinted in hardback by Blackie.
SUMMARY: Omnibus edition containing the first 3 Hilda novels.

TALES OUT OF SCHOOL - THE ADVENTURES OF HILDA
(HODDER & STOUGHTON [NZ] 1984)
Paperback original.
SUMMARY: Selected edition containing 4 chapters from The Doings of Hilda and 6 chapters from Hilda's Adventures.


Collector's info:
Quite confusing in that there are two different books with the same title of Hilda's Adventures. One was an updated and revised edition of the first book in the series published in 1936. The other Hilda's Adventures was the 3rd book in the series published in 1938. I shall never cease to wonder at the machinations of publishers but  this is one of the worst examples I have seen! Collectors should check publishing date before buying this title.
To add to the general confusion there is also a paperback edition published by Hodder & Stoughton which contains chapters from books 2 and 3 in the series proper!
All the books except the paperback edition were published in the UK and are not too hard to find here, with the first title in series being the easiest. They are all harder to find in the USA.

Other Horse and Pony Books:

PLUM DUFF AND PRUNELLA
(COUNTRY LIFE [UK] 1938)
ILLUSTRATED BY M. E. RIVERS-MOORE
EDITION PICTURED: 1st edition
SUMMARY: Quirky humourous tale with a fantasy element. Plum Duff the unusual strawberry roan horses arrives to save Prunella from being packed off to unpleasant relations. Prunella and her older brother decide to keep Pum Duff. It is not long before they learn that the roan horse has some very special powers indeed!
PONYMAD RATING: 3 HORSESHOES

RUNNING AWAY WITH NEBBY
(DAVID McKAY {USA}1944)
ILLUSTRATED BY WILLY POGANY
EDITION PICTURED: Probably 1st edition
SUMMARY: Noel and Marigold run away with their horse Nebby after he gets in their father's bad books. They encounter many exciting adventures on their journey.

Collector's info:
Plum Duff was published in the UK and Nebby in the USA. As far as I know not published in the author's own country of New Zealand. If anyone does know of a New Zealand edition of the books I'd love to hear from you. Nebby is easy to find in the USA, much harder elsewhere. Plum Duff is also not common, though copies without dustwrappers can be found in the UK without too much trouble. The dustwrapper for this title is rare. The book is hard to find in the USA.