Colin Thiele (1920-2006)

Award winning Australian author. Born in 1920 in Eudunda, South Australia. His family were German and as a child he first spoke German language. Despite this he went on to become a prolific and award-winning author of Australian children's fiction. He wrote for a wide range of age groups, from picture books to young adult novels, as well as writing non-fiction, adult novels, short stories and poetry. Many of his books were set against a backdrop of rural Australia. A number of his novels were made into films. He was also made a Companion of the Order of Australia (similar to the British O.B.E) in 1977 for his services to literature, and received an honorary doctorate from the University of SA.

Animals feature in quite a few of his books. Horses too appear in some, possibly more than those I have featured below. If you know of any more I would love to hear from you!

There is plenty of information about the author to be found, both on and off-line:: a Colin Thiele website, a Wikipedia entry with a link to a comprehensive bibliography, and also a written biography.

Horse & Pony Books:

THE FEBRUARY DRAGON
FIRST EDITION RIGBY [AUSTRALIA] 1965
FIRST UK EDITION WHITE LION 1966
FIRST USA EDITION HARPER & ROW 1966
Reprinted by original publisher in hardback and paperback.
Reprinted in paperback by Lansdowne.
First published in the UK by White Lion in 1966, and later reprinted.
First published in the USA by Harper & Row in 1966 and later reprinted.
SUMMARY: The animal loving Pine family live a happy life on their farmstead, riding their ponies and looking after their many pets, until the dreaded bushfire named the February Dragon strikes. Not sure how much horse content in this one - possibly more of a general animal story.

TANYA AND TRIXIE
FIRST EDITION RIGBY [AUSTRALIA] 1980
ILLUSTRATED WITH PHOTOGRAPHS BY DAVID SIMPSON
SUMMARY: Picture book type pony story for younger readers, illustrated with black and white photos. A little girl tells of her dreams to have a pony of her own.

PITCH THE PONY
FIRST EDITION RIGBY [AUSTRALIA] 1984
Rare.

JODIE'S JOURNEY
FIRST EDITION WALTER McVITTY [AUSTRALIA] 1988
FIRST USA EDITION HARPER COLLINS 1990
Reprinted by original publisher in paperback.
Published in the USA by Harper Collins in 1990.
SUMMARY: Teenage Jodie loves her horse Monarch and together they make a winning team in the show ring, winning many jumping competitions together. But Jodie finds her life turned upset down when the onset of juvenile arthritis prevents her from riding her beloved horse. Can she come to terms with watching someone else ride him, and what will happen when they are both in danger with no-one to help?

Collector's Info:
Jodie's Journey and the February Dragon are easy to find in Australia. These two were also published in the USA and can be found in America without too much trouble either. Only The February Dragon was published in the UK, but even so it is still quite hard to find there, as are all the others. Tanya and Trixie was only published in Australia and is a bit rarer than some of the other titles. May be more pricey too. The rarest one of the lot appears to be Pitch the Pony which seems very elusive.

Books About the Author:

CAN I CALL YOU COLIN?
By Stephany Evans Steggall
FIRST EDITION NEW HOLLAND PB [AUSTRALIA] 2004
Paperback original
SUMMARY: Authorised biography. Comprehensive study of the author plus bibliography of his works.

Collector's Info:
Paperback original. Does not appear to have been reprinted in the USA or UK. Can be found without too much trouble in Australia, USA and the UK, although may be quite pricey outside of Australia.