Overview

Johnny’s wish had come true. His family would be visiting his grandparents for Christmas. His grandparents lived in an old house in New England where his father had been born. The family together, the smells of the cookies baking, the snowy Christmas tree farm with trees of so many shapes and sizes, and most of all the wooden horse he had told his brother Liam about would make this the best Christmas ever. In his grandparents’ attic Johnny finds many treasures, but the wooden horse he remembered so well is ...
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Overview

Johnny’s wish had come true. His family would be visiting his grandparents for Christmas. His grandparents lived in an old house in New England where his father had been born. The family together, the smells of the cookies baking, the snowy Christmas tree farm with trees of so many shapes and sizes, and most of all the wooden horse he had told his brother Liam about would make this the best Christmas ever. In his grandparents’ attic Johnny finds many treasures, but the wooden horse he remembered so well is missing. How can Johnny make his brother’s Christmas wish come true?

Beloved and internationally bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark’s loving story together with Wendell Minor’s captivating paintings make The Magical Christmas Horse a book that captures the true heart of Christmas and one that families will make part of their Christmas tradition year after year.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—Eight-year-old Johnny is eager to visit his grandparents in their big stone house in Connecticut. He vividly remembers his last trip there when he was three, and his strongest memory is of a beautiful, hand-carved wooden horse. Johnny tells his little brother, Liam, that this year, it will be his turn to enjoy it—but the horse has vanished. Will wishing be enough to bring it back on Christmas Day? This story of a caring family, skillfully illustrated in gouache and watercolor, warmly and effectively conveys the selfless ideal of the season.—Linda Israelson, Los Angeles Public Library
Publishers Weekly
Nostalgic paintings and narrative, along with these collaborators’ (Ghost Ship) hefty fan bases, are likely to make this a solid holiday seller. The title is a tad misleading: there isn’t magic attached to the antique wooden horse that Johnny remembers playing with at his grandparents’ Connecticut farmhouse. Having promised his younger brother that the horse will be his Christmas gift this year, Johnny is crushed to find that the horse is missing. Johnny’s a little too good to be true, and the conclusion is syrupy, but Minor’s gouache and watercolor art, featuring his characteristic exquisite detail, gives the book its magic. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
Eight-year-old Johnny is eager to visit his grandparents in their big stone house in Connecticut. He vividly remembers his last trip there when he was three, and his strongest memory is of a beautiful, hand-carved wooden horse. Johnny tells his little brother, Liam, that this year, it will be his turn to enjoy it–but the horse has vanished. Will wishing be enough to bring it back on Christmas Day? This story of a caring family, skillfully illustrated in gouache and watercolor, warmly and effectively conveys the selfless ideal of the season.
School Library Journal, October 2011

“Nostalgic paintings and narrative, along with these collaborators’ (Ghost Ship) hefty fan bases, are likely to make this a solid holiday seller...Minor’s gouache and watercolor art, featuring his characteristic exquisite detail, gives the book its magic” – Publisher’s Weekly, September 2011

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Johnny and his family live on the edge of a desert in Arizona, but he remembers the family home in Connecticut. The last time he recalls being at the two-hundred-year-old stone house was when he was three. That Christmas, he rode a wonderful horse on wheels that his grandfather said would always be his. Johnny loves his little brother Liam and promises him that he will just love being at the family homestead and have an opportunity to ride the horse when they once again spend a Christmas in Connecticut. Sometimes things do not turn out as planned and Johnny learns that the horse may have been sold along with some other antiques. He is of course disappointed, but worries most about the disappointment that his brother will feel when Christmas morning comes and his wheeled horse is not there. Never fear, this story has a happy ending. Minor, who resides in New England, has created scenes of rural Connecticut that are anyone's idea of what a cold white Christmas should resemble. The picture of the old stone house where George Washington supposedly stopped during the Revolutionary War is worthy of a Christmas card. The story should appeal to children as well as adults—Clark is after all a master storyteller. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
Kirkus Reviews

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)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442434301
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
  • Publication date: 10/25/2011
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: NOOK Kids Read to Me
  • Edition description: No Edition
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 475,773
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • File size: 23 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Mary Higgins Clark, #1 international and New York Times bestselling author, has written thirty-three suspense novels; three collections of short stories; a historical novel, Mount Vernon Love Story; two children’s books, including The Magical Christmas Horse; and a memoir, Kitchen Privileges. She is also the coauthor with Carol Higgins Clark of five holiday suspense novels. Her books have sold more than 100 million copies in the United States alone.

Wendell Minor is the award-winning illustrator of dozens of picture books, including his own Yankee Doodle America, Robert Burleigh's Into the Woods, and Reaching for the Moon, written by Buzz Aldrin. Mr. Minor's work can be found in the permanent collections of such institutions as the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and the Library of Congress. He lives with his wife, Florence, in Washington, Connecticut. Visit Wendell Minor at minorart.com.

Mary Higgins Clark, #1 international and New York Times bestselling author, has written thirty-three suspense novels; three collections of short stories; a historical novel, Mount Vernon Love Story; two children’s books, including The Magical Christmas Horse; and a memoir, Kitchen Privileges. She is also the coauthor with Carol Higgins Clark of five holiday suspense novels. Her books have sold more than 100 million copies in the United States alone.

Biography

The Queen of Suspense, Bronx-born and -bred Mary Higgins Clark has achieved international success against heavy odds. Her father died when she was 11, and her mother struggled to raise and provide for Mary and her two brothers. Clark attended secretarial school after high school and worked for three years in an advertising agency before leaving to become a stewardess for Pan American Airlines. Throughout 1949, she flew international flights to Europe, Africa, and Asia. " I was in a revolution in Syria and on the last flight into Czechoslovakia before the Iron Curtain went down," she recalls. In 1950, she quit her job to marry Warren Clark, a neighbor nine years her senior whom she had known and admired since she was 16.

In the early years of her marriage, Clark began writing short stories, making her first sale in 1956 to Extension Magazine. Between writing and raising a family, the decade flew by. Then, in 1964, Warren Clark suffered a fatal heart attack, leaving his young widow with five children to support. She went to work writing radio scripts; and, around this time, she decided to try her hand at writing books. Inspired by a radio series she was working on, she drafted a biographical novel about George Washington. It was published in 1969 under the title Aspire to the Heavens. (In 2002, it was re-issued as Mount Vernon Love Story.) Her first suspense novel, Where Are the Children?, appeared in print in 1975. It was a huge hit and marked a turning point in her life. Since then, she has developed a loyal fan base, and each of her novels has hit the bestseller lists. She has also co-written stories and novels with her daughter Carol, a successful author in her own right.

In the 1970s, Clark enrolled in Fordham University at Lincoln Center, graduating summa cum laude in 1979. A great supporter of education, she has served as a trustee of her alma mater and Providence College and holds numerous honorary degrees. She remains active in Catholic affairs and has been honored with many awards. Her publisher, Simon & Schuster, funds an annual award in her name to be given to authors of suspense fiction writing in the Mary Higgins Clark tradition.

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    1. Hometown:
      Saddle River, New Jersey and New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 24, 1929
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      New York University; B.A., Fordham University, 1979
    2. Website:

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Magic & Surprises.

    *Great eye-catching color illustrations bring the storyline to life. *Wonderful, delightful, and engaging storyline, sure to fascinate young readers ages four to eight. *Good for read aloud story-time during the Christmas season.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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