She might be only 11-hands high, but Taffy the Shetland Pony has a big message to share with children of West End when she visits local book shop Where the Wild Things Are

Working with Meryn Cooper, who is the author of a new picture book A Pony Named Taffy, the pair hopes to highlight the value of making sure everyone feels included. Ms Cooper said the book is being used as a learning tool in classrooms around the country, and having a pony helps to engage the children and maintain their attention. “People, like ponies are social creatures, and we like to feel a sense of belonging; be that to a team, a group or a club. “There are little things that we all can do, to make sure people aren’t feeling left out, alone or marginalised,” Cooper said. A Pony Named Taffy was launched in June, and has nearly sold all of its first print run. The book has been endorsed by Variety – the Children’s Charity for its underlying messages about inclusion, and 50% of the profits will be going back to the charity.

Taffy ended up with the Cooper family by accident. Meryn had been asked to help move a pony for a friend. When she got to the property Taffy was there also needing a new home. “She’s a super pony who loves life, people and other horses. She’s obsessed with food, and will do anything for a scratch,” Meryn said. She shares a paddock with a big thoroughbred horse called Rocky. Meryn Cooper is a former journalist who has always had a passion for children’s literature, she studied Theatre and Media at university and is a qualified teacher who has produced several children’s plays. She now spreads her time between her family, and is married with two rug rats who love her silly songs and stories. She was obsessed with ponies as a young girl and has never really grown out of them.

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