cover image The Magical Christmas Horse

The Magical Christmas Horse

Mary Higgins Clark, illus. by Wendell Minor. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4169-9478-7

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.)