SURE MAGIC


First Published 1955 by Max Parrish

Illustration by Sheppard for 'Sure Magic'. Click to enlarge (file size=40KB)
Paul with Calluna
An illustration by Raymond Sheppard
for 'Sure Magic'
illustrated by Raymond Sheppard

A short story.

Paul is saving his pocket money. He wants a pony, but realises that a neighbour's air-gun is a more likely achievement. His neighbour's father rides a lovely hunter called Calluna and it is her fate and Paul's which are linked in this story.

The Pony Club Annual containing the short story 'Sure Magic'
The Pony Club Annual No. 6
containing Sure Magic
First edition:
Published by Max Parrish in 1955 in the Pony Club Annual No 6 (shown left). It appears on pages 21 to 36, with three full page b/w illustrations by Raymond Sheppard.

Other Editions:

Girl's Choice 1966 2nd imp. Click to enlarge
Girl's Choice 1966 imp.
Golden Pleasure Books 1965:
in Girl's Choice
Hardback with dustwrapper; pp29-44 with one monochrome illustration by Jeannette Giblin
Reprinted 1966; illustrated left; cover price 7/6.

The fourth impression of the book was published by Hamlyn in 1968. Several impressions followed. By the 6th impression in 1973 the cover artwork had changed and now showed a girl horror-struck in finding a big cat in the hen-house.

In 1979 Hamlyn introduced an abridged edition, reducing the number of stories from 22 to 17. Sure Magic was retained.
The 1979 edition (pictured right) has the newer cover, is reduced in size from 358 pages to 264. The illustrations are still credited to Jeannette Giblin but are different to the earliest - being more line-art than tonal. The book's ISBN is ISBN 0-600-34136-4. The front flap of the dustwrapper has the cover price of U.K.Price £1.50.

Girl's Choice 1979 edition. Click to enlarge
Girl's Choice 1979 edition
The third impression of the abridged edition appeared in 1981 (presumably a second impression appeared in the intervening year).
The fourth edition, dated 1982 has a revised version of the leopard scene with the cat filling the full cover, and the girl in the background. It is laminated to the boards.
The cover artwork is the same as the 1984 edition shown below, but has no cover price, nor the white barcode panel (both shown when the picture below is enlarged).
The error of identifying the book's illustrations as by Jeanette Giblin is carried on in this edition.
1984 impression cover. Click to enlarge
6th abridged edn
Hamlyn 1984
1984 '6th impression' of the abridged edition; ISBN 0-600-36613-8; seventeen extracts/stories; 264 pages. Sure Magic appears on pages 29 to 44 with one line illustration of a boy carrying the young foal, as in the 1979 edition. The cover is laminated with the newer version of the scene on 1979 edition, not credited. By or for this edition a white barcode panel has been added and it carries the price in the UK of £1.75.
The illustrations are still credited to Jeannette Giblin.
It is very likely that the book has appeared in many more issues; this is unlikely to be a full list (see * below).
Many copies are for sale - and there are currently 2 copies from different dealers described as ' Hamlyn Young Books and dated as 1996.

There may well be more - If you have a copy let me know if the covers differ or the dates aren't on the list at the bottom of the page !


2nd printing 1977. Cover by Carol Lawson
Piccolo 1977 2nd impression

Piccolo 1975:
in Christine Pullein-Thompson's Book of Pony Stories.
'Sure Magic' is on pages 25-39 with two line illustrations by Gareth Floyd.

Reprinted 1977: (illustrated left) ISBN 0-330-24405-1; cover price 50p.


Cavalier Paperbacks 1995
in the anthology Horse and Dog Stories edited by Charlotte Fyfe
182pp; with an uncredited frontispiece in black and white as the only illustration; 22 short stories by various authors; ISBN: 1-899470-05-0; cover price £4.99.
Click to enlarge
Horse and Dog Stories
Cavalier 1995 first edition dustwrapper


Click to enlarge
Horse Stories
Robinson 1996
Robinson's Children's Books 1996 in the paperback Horse Stories edited by Felicity Trotman.
33 short stories by a variety of different authors, all with a single illustration by Victor Ambrus. Sure Magic which appears between pages 361 and 378. ISBN 1-85487-705-4; cover price £4.99.

Random House, New York 1997 in the paperback The Random House Book of Horse Stories edited by Felicity Trotman. An American edition of the Robinson's volume, subtly modified for the American audience.


Girls Gone By 2012:

The story is included in this reprint of The Wanderer.
The story has the original illustrations by Raymond Sheppard and also some of the illustrations from other editions of the story, along with a publishing history by Clarissa Cridland.
(More information in this edition on 'The Wanderer' page.)

The story runs from pages 258 to 276 of this edition.

 Click to enlarge
The Wanderer
containing
Sure Magic
Girls Gone By 2012


* List of known dated 'editions' of Girl's Choice
Published by Golden Pleasure Books: 1965; 1966; 1967.
Published as Hamlyn: 1968; 1971; 1973; 1975; 1977; 1978; 1979; ?; 1981; 1982; 1983; 1984; . . ? .? . 1996
(underlining indicates copies held by me.)


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Illustrations copyright the respective Publishers
Text copyright John Allsup
May 2001
Last updated 2nd Sept 2015