Books: Miss Thelwells? New roly-poly pony ambles onto children's book scene

Rejoice! Fat ponies are back in Cartoon Land!

Artist Kate Beaton, whose graphic novel collection hit No. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller List and who is a darling of the web comic world with her work at Hark! A Vagrant where she pokes fun at historical and fictional figures, announced this week that her next project will be a kids' book for Scholastic starring a fat pony, who has trotted in and out of her work.

fat pony drawingApparently, fans adored the fat pony so much (who wouldn't?) that Beaton opted to switch from characters like Nikola Tesla, Edgar Allan Poe and Wonder Woman to the rotund equine.

There's been a sad hole (actually, two round ones) in the world of cartoons since British artist Norman Thelwell, creator of (plump) Penelope and her (even plumper) pony Kipper, died in 2004. His first book, “Angels on Horseback,” was inspired by his observations of two hairy ponies “small and round and of very uncertain temper,” who grazed next to his home, according to his website. They were owned by “two little girls about three feet high who could have done with losing a few ounces themselves.”

Check out a classic Thelwell cartoon.

Beaton's book is “about a little warrior princess who is given a silly looking pony on her birthday, and it’s not exactly what she wanted,” she told

fat pony assembly

“So [the story] is about finding value in something unexpected, but it’s also really fun and really silly,” said Beaton. “She’s a very energetic little girl and she wants to be a warrior. Then on her birthday she gets the pony as as gift and she’s like, what can I do with this? It’s embarrassing. It’s too old. It’s too fat. It’s too short. It’s not right for someone as rough and tough as me.”

The artist did not indicate when the book's slated for publication. However, fans of the fatty can still buy merchandise through her website.

fat pony onesie

Go Riding.


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