cover image The Magic Saddle

The Magic Saddle

Christobel Mattingley, Cristobel Mattingley. Simon & Schuster, $16 (34pp) ISBN 978-0-689-80959-0

A gingerbread horse serves as magic carpet in the dreams of a poor boy who longs to receive a rocking horse for Christmas. Unfortunately, Mattingly's (The Miracle Tree) mishmash of fantasy, tradition and religion makes for a disjointed and confusing read. Mullins's (V for Vanishing) mixed-media visuals, which inventively combine torn-tissue paper collage, crayon and lino block stamping, serve as a brilliant translation of Mattingly's more descriptive scenes. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)