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Clyde Bulla

Clyde Robert Bulla (1914 -  2007) was a prolific author, who wrote many titles aimed at the younger child reader. Bulla was born on a small farm in Missouri, and always wanted to write. When his teacher asked the class what they would buy with a thousand dollars, Bulla wanted a table: “a desk or other flat surface on which to write my stories!” He wrote in the evenings for as long as he could make himself stay awake; he had to leave school early to help on the farm, but continued to write.

He sold stories to magazines, and then succeeded in having a novel published. The publisher then went out of business, and Bulla had a long, hard slog to get anything else published. He worked for a local newspaper, writing a weekly column, and joined a writer’s group. Through this, he met Emma Thibodaux, who suggested he write a book for children. He wrote The Donkey Cart, and it was published. Bulla then switched horses from writing for adults to writing for children, and wrote over 100 children’s books, covering fiction, non-fiction and poetry. He wrote several horse books, including the Danny series.

Finding the books: all of Clyde Robert Bulla’s horse titles are reasonably easy to find. None were published in the UK.

Links and sources

Terri A. Wear: Horse Stories, an Annotated Bibliography, Scarecrow Press, 1987

Biographical information from NWDA

Biographical info: Scholastic

Obituary in the Boston News

Many thanks to Fiona Williams and Lisa Catz for all their help with this section.

A Ranch for Danny

Crowell, New York, 1951, 84 pp, illus Grace Paull

“Danny and Jerry first saw old Mr. Wicker, who lives at Starlight Ranch, at the rodeo. Danny
is soon to visit Starlight Ranch. And after his first visit he went again. Danny hopes that one
day Mr Wicker might sell the ranch to his father so they could live there always. Meanwhile,
Danny had to go to school, he had to look after the cattle, and had to practise his riding tricks

for another rodeo.  

Star of Wild Horse Canyon

Crowell, New York, 1953, 86 pp, illus Grace Paull

Scholastic, 1967, 1974,1975, pb

Danny sees a wild horse which stands out from the herd of wild horses. He calls the horse
Star, and things of nothing else. Danny was getting too big for his little pony Ginger, and Star
looks like the answer. Danny earns the horse, trains it, and then has to find him when he

Riding the Pony Express

Crowell, New York, 1948, 95 pp, illus Grace Paull

Scholastic Book Services, 1963, pb


“Dick travels to Nebraska to join his father who is riding for the Pony Express, but Dick has
trouble adjusting to his new life until an emergency forces him to carry the mail himself.”

Bibliography - horse books only


Crowell, New York, 1973, 68 pp, illus Glo Coalson

As Take Care of Dexter
Scholastic Book Services, 1973

Dave makes friends with Alex Arvin when his family, which is a circus family, moves next door. When
the Arvins are asked to leave, Alex asks Dave to take care of his pony Dexter.

Three Dollar Mule

Crowell, New York, 1960, 86 pp, illus Paul Lantz

Scholastic, 1962, pb

Troll, 1994, pb

Don is talked into buying a mule called Sinbad by a horse trader. However, the mule gets into so
much trouble with Don’s father that they try to give the mule away. The mules redeems himself when
Don breaks his leg out in the woods.

The Donkey Cart

Crowell, New York, 1946, 89 pp, illus Lois Lenski

Two children spend their holiday on their uncle’s farm, travelling round in a donkey cart.

Conquista!  [with Michael Syson]

Crowell, New York, 1978, 22 pp, illus Robert Himler

An American Indian is searching for a sign from his sun-god telling him what his man-name is to be.
He finds a creature the like of which he’s never seen before. It turns out to be a horse, which has been
lost, and which is still wearing its saddle and bridle.

Surprise for a Cowboy

Crowell, New York, 1950, 82 pp, illus Grace Paull

Danny loves to play cowboys, and is delighted when one day he gets to visit a real ranch.
He learns what a cowboy’s everyday life is like, and learns to ride a pony, and take care of
the cattle. He makes friends with the neighbouring ranchers. Danny finds that a cowboy's life
is not always an easy one.”

Old Charlie

Crowell, New York, 1957, 80 pp, illus Paul Galdone

Scholastic, 1963, pb

Bruce and his friends find out that Old Charlie, the horse from camp, is now old, and is
going to be sent to the slaughterhouse. Although they live in the city, and have absolutely
nowhere to keep a horse, they decide to try to buy him.


Surprise for a Cowboy
A Ranch for Danny
Star of Wild Horse Canyon