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Written by Pam Smy

Illustrated by Pam Smy

Animals Featured Books for 3+ readers Featured Books for 5+ readers

LoveReading View on Merrylegs

There’s magic and joy in this gorgeous picture book.  Little Merrylegs is a riding school pony, clumping round the stables wishing his life was more interesting.  He longs to be as tall and beautiful as the racehorses he watches from his paddock, and when his friend Feathers reminds him how happy the children are to ride him, Merrylegs doesn’t listen. Then a fair comes to town, and a magical encounter with the carousel horses changes Merryleg’s view of himself forever, his stumble clop turning into a clippetty trip. It’s a lovely, truly satisfying story of friendship and self-belief, perfectly told through Pam Smy’s illustrations and gentle text.


An enchanting story of friendship and self-belief illustrating you can see the world with new eyes.

Merrylegs is a bored riding school pony just plodding around the school, not noticing the delight of the children who ride him. It takes his friend Feathers to show him the Carousel in a local fair to inspire him to new heights.  It takes a while, and the magic of the night for Merrylegs to realise he can be the pony that strides out, going from ‘stumble, clump, clippety clomp’ to ‘snippety trip, clippety trip, trip, trot, trip’!  His dreams have inspired him and he’s now the pony enjoying all the children riding him.

This is a beautiful simple storybook showing you can achieve your dreams – a truly inspirational message.  The illustration style is clear and accurate with lovely details to spot, the ponies look like you really could ride them.  Spot the deliberate changes from frontispiece to end papers – reinforcing the story message. Pam Smy uses so many different techniques in her books I do hope she continues to use what I assume are lithographic processes.  The lovely rhythm of Merrylegs strides, repeated often in the text, will make this a read aloud favourite for classes and children everywhere.

Tricia Adams

Andrea Reece

Merrylegs Synopsis

Magic happens in the hush of the night. When the stars start to glitter and the moon shines bright…

Poor old Merrylegs is a dumpy, clumpy riding school pony - clomping round and round, day after day. But he has a dream. And when the fair comes to town his dream burns even brighter. But will he have the courage to make it come true?

A stylish picture book with an empowering message: when you believe in yourself, you see the world with fresh eyes!

Merrylegs Press Reviews

'An uplifting tale of self-belief, stunningly realised' The Bookseller

Praise for Pam Smy’s previous title, Thornhill: 

 “terrific”– Philip Pullman

“deeply memorable”– Guardian 


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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781788450577
Publication date: 01/08/2019
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781788450577
Publication date: 1st August 2019
Author: Pam Smy
Illustrator: Pam Smy
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 32 pages
Suitable for: 3+ readers, 5+ readers
Genres: Animals

About Pam Smy

Pam Smy studied Illustration at Anglia Ruskin University, going on to complete the MA Children's Book Illustration in 2004. She combines her role as lecturer in illustration with illustrating fiction. Pam lives in Cambridge.

More About Pam Smy

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Cover for Thornhill by Pam Smy
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