12 Days of Holiday Books: The Magical Christmas Horse

December 5, 2012

The Magical Christmas HorseThe Magical Christmas Horse (40 pages, Paula Wiseman Books, 2011) by author Mary Higgins Clark and illustrator Wendell Minor tells the heartwarming Christmastime tale of a young boy, Johnny, who travels to his family's ancestral farm on the East Coast to spend the holidays with his grandparents. While Clark is mostly known for suspense novels, here she tells a simple and charming holiday story for young children

Johnny's favorite memory of his grandparents' farm is of a beautiful, hand-carved wooden horse, and Johnny promises his younger brother Liam that this year will be his year to ride the horse. Unfortunately the wooden horse is nowhere to be found, and much Christmas wishing ensues.

Of course a little miracle of sorts happens on Christmas Day, and all ends well. While the story is a bit simplistic, it's charmingly written and includes a refreshing message that's all about giving rather than receiving. After all, that's what the holidays are supposed to be about, right? And of course Wendell Minor's (The Last Train, Night Flight, and Christmas Tree!) beautiful luminscent paintings evocatively bring the story to life.

The Magical Christmas Horse is a holiday book that should prove entrancing to kids up to 8 or so. Find it at Amazon.com or your local library.