To Jane Monkhouse Foster the gift of a spirited horse for her birthday was the greatest conceivable bore. But her mother meant well for she should have loved just such a gift when she was eleven. Jane found her in a ballet performance when Aunt Irma Foster, a famous ballerina, came to visit the family's Northumberland home. Jane's cousin, Mariella, detested ballet, despite her mother's prowess. To her life without horses was incomplete. And so, when Mariella was given an audition with the Sadler's Wells troupe, it was Jane who took her place. Granting unusually permissive parents, the switch in roles which follows with Mariella taking Jane's place and vice-versa, this changeling story is the stuff childhood dreams of. And characterization here is far more three-dimensional than in most children's books.