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list price: $14.95
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook Paperback
published: May 2012
ISBN:9781459501430

Pit Pony

The Picture Book

by Joyce Barkhouse & Janet Barkhouse, illustrated by Sydney Smith

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horses, friendship
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $14.95
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook Paperback
published: May 2012
ISBN:9781459501430
Description

If Willie could have his dream, he would go to Sable Island and ride free over the sand dunes on the back of a wild horse. Instead, at eleven years old, Willie has to go to work in the coal mines of Cape Breton, hardly ever seeing the light of day. But with the help of Gem, the gentle pit pony he works with in the mine, he discovers that things aren't always as bad as they seem.

Pit Pony is a beloved classic of children's literature, and has been turned into a movie and a television series. For this new illustrated edition, the story has been retold in an abbreviated version for young readers and is vividly illustrated by acclaimed illustrator Sydney Smith.

About the Authors

Joyce Barkhouse

JOYCE BARKHOUSE is the author of many short stories and books for children, including Anna's Pet (written with Margaret Atwood), which was made into a puppet play and toured internationally, and The Witch of Port Lajoie, which has been translated in four languages. She received the Order of Nova Scotia and was made a Member of the Order of Canada for her children's books and work in literacy.
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Janet Barkhouse

JANET BARKHOUSE is Joyce's daughter and has retired from several fascinating worlds -- theatre, academe, education -- and is now writing herself. She lives in Clearland, Nova Scotia.
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Sydney Smith was born in rural Nova Scotia and has been drawing from an early age. Since graduating from NSCAD University, he has illustrated numerous children’s books, including the highly acclaimed wordless picture book Sidewalk Flowers, conceived by Jon Arno Lawson, which won a Governor General’s Award, among many other honours, and was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book. He is also the illustrator of Town Is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz, for which he was awarded the Kate Greenaway Medal, and which won the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Prize. Small in the City is the first picture book that Sydney has written as well as illustrated. He lives and works in Toronto with his wife and son.

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Contributor Notes

Although former teacher JOYCE BARKHOUSE wrote stories for many years, she was sixty-one when her first book was published. She went on to win many awards for excellence in writing, including the Order of Nova Scotia and the Order of Canada for her contributions to children's literature. Well known for her historical fiction, she achieved her greatest success with Pit Pony. She died in 2012 at the age of ninety-eight. JANET BARKHOUSE is Joyce's daughter and has retired from several fascinating worlds — theatre, academe, education — and is now writing herself. No stranger to Sable Island horses, she is the author of Sable Island — Imagine! She lives in Clearland, Nova Scotia. SYDNEY SMITH is an illustrator born and bred in Nova Scotia. He attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and has been in Halifax since receiving his BFA in 2006. Since then, he has collaborated with many musicians and authors, including two children's books with Sheree Fitch. He was awarded the Mayor's Award for Mabel Murple in 2011.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
8 to 10
Grade:
3 to 5
Reading age:
8 to 10
Awards
  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids & Teens Selection
Editorial Reviews

“Readers are gifted with an array of emotions through Sydney Smith's incredibly realistic ink and watercolour illustrations.... The story is visually captivating and textually engaging as, through the eyes of young Willie, it educates readers on the hardships and conditions of a 1902 Cape Breton coal-mining town.” Recommended.

— CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"Smith's drawings charmingly capture the heart of the story: joy and tragedy, love and cruelty... an exceptional book" Recommended.

— Canadian Children's Book News

"Sydney Smith's charcoal and watercolour illustrations perfectly capture the time period and setting... The harsh realities of working in a mine are evocatively described." Rated G, good, even great at times, generally useful!

— Resource Links

"Through the rich text and equally informative illustrations, Pit Pony: The Picture Book will help younger readers learn about the lives of coal mining families in eastern Canada in the early 1900s."

— Canadian Teacher

"Pit Pony: The Picture Book captures the essence of the novel perfectly...mirroring a time and place in Nova Scotia's past and capturing a boy's wonder at the majestic spirit of the wild ponies of Sable Island"

— Atlantic Books Today

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Pit Pony

In his dreams Willie rides on the back of a wild horse over the sand dunes, but in reality he works in the coal mines of Cape Breton, hardly ever seeing the light of day. With the help of Gem, a gentle pit pony, he discovers that things aren’t always as bad as they seem and miracles are possible, even in a coal mine. Originally published in 1990 by Gage Educational Publishing (Our Choice 1990).

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2011.

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