Heinrich Maria Denneborg (1909-1987)

Award winning German author. As well as writing, Herr Denneborg was a renowned puppeteer who travelled through Germany and Switzerland with his puppet show, entertaining the German troops with it during the war. In later years he worked with his show as a cultural ambassador of Germany in many countries throughout the world.

His first book was published in 1932, but he didn't begin writing children's books until twenty years later. Amongst his most popular children's works were the two books about Jan and his wild pony Balthasar, which won many awards and were translated into a huge number of languages, including English (second book only). The first Jan book was also adapted as a radio drama. As well as his two horse stories, the author also wrote a donkey story which was also published in an English language version in the USA.

Herr Denneborg moved to Switzerland where he lived until his death in 1987.

Jan Series:
Short very popular German series about Jan and his rescued horse Balthasar. As far as I know only the second book was translated into English but I have included the full series below. Balthasar is a Dülmen pony, which is apparently the only native German pony breed left in existence.

1) JAN UND DAS WILPFERD
(DRESSLER [GERMANY] 1957)
ILLUSTRATED BY HORST LEMKE
Reprinted a number of times.
SUMMARY: Young Jan and his father's farmhand Natz conspire to rescue Balthasar, a horse destined for the knackers because of his limp.

2) DAS WILPFERD BALTHASAR
aka THE ONLY HORSE FOR JAN (English language title)
(DRESSLER [GERMANY] 1959)
(1st English language edition  McKAY  [USA] 1961)
ILLUSTRATED BY HORST LEMKE
Reprinted a number of times, including an American English language edition in 1961.
SUMMARY: Jan is being teased at school because of Balthazar's limp and the rumour he was stolen. And Natz worries about the horse's lameness.
PONYMAD RATING: 3 HORSESHOES

Collectors Info:
Fairly easy to find in Germany. Not common elsewhere. The American English language edition of The Only Horse for Jan is fairly rare but usually not very expensive.

Other Horse & Pony Books:

DAS ESELCHEN GRISELLA
aka GRISELLA THE DONKEY (English language title)
(DRESSLER [GERMANY] 1955)
(1st English language edition  McKAY  [USA] 1957)
ILLUSTRATED BY HORST LEMKE
SUMMARY: Set in Italy. Grisella lives on the island of Elba. When her owner becomes too old to look after her she is given to the young boy Tino to care for and they are happy together. But when an American tricks Tino and steals the donkey away for his daughter, Tino sets off to find Grisella and bring her back home.

Collectors Info:
Not too hard to find in Germany, though not as common as the Jan books. Hard to find elsewhere. The American edition is not common but is usually not too expensive.