Not a real person! Laura Lee Hope was a pseudonym devised by the Stratmeyer Syndicate who were the creators of many popular children's book series of the 20th century, including Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. Another creation of theirs were The Bobbsey Twins, an extremely long running series about two sets of twins and the many mysteries they are involved in. The Hope pseudonym was created for this series which was written by a number of ghost writers including Howard R. Garis, Elizabeth D. Ward, and possibly Edward Stratmeyer and his daughter Harriet S. Adams.
A couple of the Bobbsey Twins books had pony related plots and are included here. Also two other pony titles were written under the name of Laura Lee Hope: one was part of another series, the Bunny Brown and Sister Sue series, and the last was a stand alone story about a rocking horse. These two are aimed at a younger readership than the Bobbsey Twins series.
Horse & Pony Books in the Bobbsey Twins Series: A very long running series, mostly non-pony although including a couple with equine related plots. The original series comprised of 72 books. There was also a later series published in the 1980s which may have been revisions of some of the earlier books or completely new stories. I am not sure as I cannot find any information about this newer series.
THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON THE PONY TRAIL (GROSSET & DUNLAP [USA] 1944) (1st UK edition WORLD 1958) Reprinted in hardback by Grosset & Dunlap. First published in the UK in hardback by World Distributors in 1958. Reprinted in hardback in the UK by World. Number 37 in the original Bobbsey Twins series. EDITIONS PICTURED: 1st edition, unknown edition, UK edition SUMMARY: Gypsies, ponies and another mystery for the twins to solve.
THE MISSING PONY MYSTERY (WANDERER BOOKS [USA] 1981) ILLUSTRATED BY RUTH SANDERSON This was part of the newer 1980s series and is noted as number 4 in that series. SUMMARY: The Bobbsey Twins' favourite pony Cupcake goes missing, along with a saddlebag containing a very special item which the twins need to take part in a TV competition. Can the twins recover both the pony and the saddlebag and make their TV appearance?
Collector's Info: The Pony Trail is easy to find in both the USA and UK. Most of the covers do not feature ponies, the best jacket for pony book collectors is the World Distributors UK edition which shows the twins riding ponies. Some of the earlier covers are extremely twee! The Missing Pony Mystery appears to have only been published in paperback and was not printed in the UK at all. It is harder to find here than The Pony Trail,
Other Horse & Pony Books:
BUNNY BROWN AND SISTER SUE AND THEIR SHETLAND PONY (GROSSET & DUNLAP [USA] 1918) ILLUSTRATED BY THELMA GOOCH This now available as a print on demand book or e-book. SUMMARY: Part of a longer series for younger readers, otherwise non-pony. This is number 8 in the series. Bunny and Sue fall in love with a little Shetland pony called Toby who is frightened by their father's noisy automobile. They hope they will be able to buy him from the man who owns him and have him for their own, but he loves the pony and doesn't want to sell himů. You can read the book for free on-line here
THE STORY OF A WHITE ROCKING HORSE (GROSSET & DUNLAP [USA] 1920) ILLUSTRATED BY HARRY. L. SMITH This now available as a print on demand book. SUMMARY: Younger readers story. In a precursor to Disney's Toy Story, all the toys in a toy shop come to life when no human is looking. The white rocking horse challenges the elephant to a race! You can read the book for free on-line here
Collector's Info: The Bunny Brown book is fairly easy to find in the USA. Available in both the UK and USA as a print on demand paperback, e-book and also available to read for free on-line. The Story of a White Rocking Horse is also available in print on demand and on-line. First editions with jackets may be quite hard to find however.
Short Stories in Other Books and Collections:
THE STRANGE HORSE in BOBBSEY TWINS ANNUAL NO. 1 (GROSSET & DUNLAP [USA] 1956) (WORLD [UK] 1956) ILLUSTRATED BY UNCREDITED ARTIST SUMMARY: Nick, Fallon, a surly unpleasant man, takes over the running of the stables where the children ride whilst the owners are away. The children make friends with a beautiful gentle chestnut mare called Lady Gay but Fallon warns them the horse is dangerous. He seems to have a grudge against the horse who seems to be terrified of him. Can the children solve the mystery and help the mare?
To see the full Bobbsey Twins series of annuals click here
Collector's Info: The annual is the first in a series of 9 Bobbsey Twins annuals. There may possibly be horse stories in other Bpbbsey Twins annuals, but I have not been able to find any as yet. If anyone knows of any more Bobbsey pony stories in the annuals or elsewhere please let me know. Although not common the annual can be found without a huge amount of trouble on the internet in the UK. May be hard to find elsewhere.