THE MAGICAL CHRISTMAS HORSE by Mary Higgins Clark

THE MAGICAL CHRISTMAS HORSE

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7

KIRKUS REVIEW

The prolific mystery writer turns her hand to children’s Christmas stories with a sentimental tale of a beloved family heirloom that is restored just in time for reappearance under the Christmas tree.

A little boy named Johnny remembers a previous holiday visit to his grandparents’ New England farm, where he rode on a white riding-horse toy that had been in the family for several generations. Now he and his younger brother, Liam, and their parents are returning to the farm for Christmas. Johnny has promised Liam that he can ride the family heirloom, but the horse was lent out the previous Christmas and never returned. Johnny finds the dilapidated horse in the attic, and his father and grandfather restore it for Liam. Some elements of the plot are a stretch: The horse looks like it was left out in the snow for a decade or two, and the restoration project is accomplished with unbelievable speed. The text is long and drawn-out, with lots of stated rather than implied emotions and too-obvious symbolism. Minor’s accomplished illustrations in watercolor and gouache provide strong visual personalities for the main characters and a distinct setting on the snowy New England farm with its 19th-century stone farmhouse.

Even with attractive illustrations and a Christmas setting, a plodding story doesn’t create any magic. (Picture book. 4-7) 

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4169-9478-7
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2011




2011 CHRISTMAS & HANUKKAH PICTURE-BOOK ROUNDUP:

Children CHANUKAH LIGHTS by Michael J. Rosen
by Michael J. Rosen
Children OH, WHAT A CHRISTMAS! by Michael Garland
by Michael Garland
Children THE HANUKKAH HOP! by Erica Silverman
by Erica Silverman
Children THE STORY OF HANUKKAH by David A. Adler
by David A. Adler

MORE BY MARY HIGGINS CLARK

ChildrenGHOST SHIP by Mary Higgins Clark
by Mary Higgins Clark
ChildrenBAD BEHAVIOR by Mary Higgins Clark
by Mary Higgins Clark

MORE BY WENDELL MINOR

ChildrenGALÁPAGOS GEORGE by Jean Craighead George
by Jean Craighead George
ChildrenHOW BIG COULD YOUR PUMPKIN GROW? by Wendell Minor
by Wendell Minor
ChildrenIF YOU WERE A PANDA BEAR by Florence Minor
by Florence Minor

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE TRUE GIFT by Patricia MacLachlan
by Patricia MacLachlan
ChildrenCHRISTMAS DAY IN THE MORNING by Pearl S. Buck
by Pearl S. Buck
ChildrenAN ORANGE FOR FRANKIE by Patricia Polacco
by Patricia Polacco