Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Alexander the Circus Pony

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (printed)

  • Date:

    ca. 1943 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ginger, Phyllis E., born 1907 - died 2005 (artist)
    Sanders, Phillips & Co. Ltd. (printer)
    Penguin Books Limited - Puffin Books (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Offset lithograph on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Paul Durbin and Eleanor Durbin

  • Museum number:

    E.298:1 to 16-2007

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case I, shelf 139, box II []

This book was written and designed by Phyllis Ginger (1907-2005). It is a children's story, ‘Alexander, the Circus Pony’, and was the artist's first commission from Puffin books where the whole book, story and illustrations were made by her. Published in 1943, the book was reprinted many times. It shows the artist's lively but meticulous watercolour style and combines her skill at topography and figure drawing. Though best known as a topographical watercolour artist, whose skill led to her contribution to Pilgrim Trust’s ‘Recording Britain’ project, Ginger's first ambition was to become an illustrator. Her style often includes distinctive and lively sketches of people and street scenes, and can be seen in book covers for publishers such as Puffin, JM Dent and the magazine Harper's Bazaar, as well as pictorial advertisements. Ginger illustrated another children's story to feature a horse a few years later, 'The Mushroom Pony', written by Joan Lamburn.

Physical description

Illustrated book with paper cover about a circus pony. Each page, except for the inside front cover, is illustrated with at least one image, with some images spreading across double-page join. Pages alternate between colour and black and white. A broad palette is used, including pinks, purples, blues, greens, yellows and oranges, with the pony and occasional details always in black and white, even on colour pages. The illustrations were drawn directly onto the lithograph stone in a sketchbook drawn style. Studies for parts of this book are at E.295-2007 to E.297-2007 and E.294:1 to 15-2007. A proof of one of page 8-9 is at E.300-2007.

Place of Origin

London (printed)


ca. 1943 (published)


Ginger, Phyllis E., born 1907 - died 2005 (artist)
Sanders, Phillips & Co. Ltd. (printer)
Penguin Books Limited - Puffin Books (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Offset lithograph on paper


Height: 18.1 cm, Width: 22.1 cm closed, Width: 44.2 cm open

Descriptive line

Alexander the Circus Pony, Puffin Picture Book, illustrated by Phyllis Ginger; England, ca. 1943.


Ink; Paper



Subjects depicted

Double-deck buses; Tram; Cars; Dog; Bicycles; Wagon; Amusement rides; Elephant; Townscapes (representations); Truck; Caravans; Landscape; People; Lorry; Cart; Policeman; Clowns; Plough: horse drawn; Circuses (performances); Cow; Horses; Farmhouse; Farm


Prints; Illustration; Books

Production Type

Mass produced


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.