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The Magical Christmas Horse

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  232 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Johnny’s Christmas wish has come true! The family will be together for Christmas at his grandparents’ home in Connecticut. He can’t wait to give his little brother, Liam, the wooden horse he rode when he was Liam’s age. When the family arrives at his grandparents’, everything is just as Johnny remembers it—except the wooden horse, which is broken, seemingly beyond repair. ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  232 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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What I love about this story is that this kid longs to be at his father’s childhood house which is all the way up in Connecticut and they now live in Arizona Scottsdale area. I have visited there. I can’t understand desert living. I love water and plants and I’m not a fan of all that red earth even though red is my favorite color. It’s too hot and there is too much sun. I don’t understand that existence. I think I would wither up there. I can’t understand someone wanting to live in that. Now the ...more
Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Mary Higgins Clark, the venerated Queen of Suspense, isn't best known as a children's author. It's her mystery novels that brought her vast fame and fortune, acclaimed genre fare like A Stranger Is Watching and All Around the Town. Yet in The Magical Christmas Horse, her second picture book and collaboration with illustrating maestro Wendell Minor, she demonstrates every skill necessary to turn out a quality story for kids. The creative load is borne equally between author and artist in this hea ...more
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Family Stories Set at Christmas
Growing up in Arizona, a young boy longs for his ancestral home in Connecticut, where his father's family had lived for many generations. With fond memories of having played with an antique wooden horse made by his great-grandfather, Johnny promises that same experience to his younger brother Liam, as a special Christmas gift. When the horse turns out to be missing, and all Johnny can find is a broken-down alternative, he is disappointed at not being able to keep his word. Then his father and gr ...more
Linda Lipko
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a charming, beautifully illustrated book. Johnnie's father was fortunate to live in the country, on a farm, when he was young. Johnny remembers a wooden horse that he treasured when he visited his grandparents. Excited that the family is returning to the farm in New England for Christmas.

Johnny can hardly wait to show the horse to his younger brother Liam. As he climbed the attic steps, he found the wonderful trunk, and he found the horse. But, the horse was ruined and in very poor conditio
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
I was surprised to like this book as much as I did. It was actually the storyline with the older brother and the house more than the one with the wooden horse, but altogether it was just a lovely story.
Dec 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Do you like sweet old-fashion Christmas stories? If so, I think you will really like this 2011 Christmas book, written by Mary Higgins Clark, and illustrated by the very talented Wendell Minor.

Eight year-old Johnny Alvern, little brother Liam and their parents live in Scottsdale, Arizona. This year Johnny's dream of returning to the home where his father was born in Connecticut comes true. His family is off to visit his grandparents for Christmas. His grandmother and grandfather live in an old c
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Linda Munro
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Far from what one may be accustomed to, this Mary Higgins Clark tale is a new Christmas classic for the young and young at heart.
When a young boy promises his toddler brother a very special Christmas present from their grandparents' attic, he finds himself utterly disappointed to find that the wooden horse of his memories has disappeared from his grandparents' possession. Determined to locate the special horse of his memories, he finds a similar wooded horse, broken and worn from neglect.
Oct 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Just got this book delivered today, ordered it online as a gift for a special nephew who will be making his Earthly debut between now and Christmas.

It's a very short story and simple in idea. The staple of Christmas...wishes can come true. Little Johnny's wish though isn't one for himself, but one for his little brother. Very Rockwell-ish paitings by Wendell Minor grace every page and that is one of the nicer things about this book.

A lovely little story wrapped up with beautiful picturesque pag
Wendy Kelly-sheridan
Sep 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loving children's books as much as "grown up" books, I was delighted to purchase this book for my daughter and attend an event where Ms. Higgins-Clark herself read the book to a group of children and signed their books. I had the further privilege of being involved with a wonderful theatre whose Executive Director turned the book into a wonderful musical Christmas show which Mary Higgins Clark attended. Sweet book attached to some very happy memories. ...more
Nov 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
I liked the part about having a home and a "heart home" - a place you know that you belong. Also interesting about how the father and grandfather worked together to make really great presents, even though they did not share the same "heart home" ...more
Jan 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I did not know that Mary Higgins Clark wrote children's book, but I came across this recently at a bookstore. The illustrations are just beautiful, and the story is very sweet. It will tug at your heartstrings, and I predict this will be a Christmas favorite in our house. ...more
Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
I do not think I have read any Mary Higgins Clark adult novels, however I think she made this picture book a wonderful yearly holiday one to share with your children. Good story telling and beautiful pictures make this a great gift for any young child.
Mar 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: holidays, christmas
i'm continually amazed by Wendell Minor's art, the horse in the title is a white wooden horse and there is so much detail in the white wood. the trees look like photos.
the story is as enjoyable as the art.
Oct 11, 2011 rated it liked it
A delightful children's book. ...more
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Fun Christmas story for kids.
Dec 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is a very sweet old fashioned Christmas story about the power of wishing and the importance of love. Complete with beautiful illustrations.
Dec 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Find a child (yours, grand, neighbors). Show them the cover. Read this wonderfully written and idyllically illustrated story together.
Mar 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
This is a children's story written by one of my favorite authors. It's a nice story about a generous little boy with a big heart and a big wish. I read it on my Nook. ...more
Debby Baumgartner
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: christmas
A boy dreams of a rocking horse to give to his younger brother and discovers it has been loaned and then lost. However, the miracle of Christmas brings joy.
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Lovely, heartfelt story and great illustrations. Nice focus on home and family during the holiday season.
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Has a nice message, although it was a bit long.
Donna Mork
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful Christmas story about a historic home in Connecticut and a wonderful old wooden horse. A little boy's love of the farm and a Christmas wish that comes true for his little brother. ...more
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars, children-s

A book with lovely illustrations that's perfect for the holidays.
Mortisha Cassavetes
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019
This is such a wonderful holiday story with beautiful paintings. I really loved it. The story follows a young boy that has very fond memories of his grandparents and holidays spent at their farm. He especially remembers the wooden white horse made by his grandfather that he loved to ride around the house and this is what he wants to give to his younger brother so he will have the memories as well. I highly recommend this book to kids of all ages.
Jan 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: holiday, christmas
The story is too saccharine. A remembered rocking horse is found in poor condition in grandpa's attic. Grandpa and dad secretly repair it in time for Christmas morning, and the young protagonist believes in Christmas magic.
Beautiful Wendell Minor illustrations evoke a Christmas card-like New England scene. Add this to the collection only if received as a donation or gift.
Nov 24, 2019 added it
This was a lovely story.
Nov 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Dec 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
This was beautifully illustrated.
Nov 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: family, picture, christmas
Kind sentiment, story is a bit slow.
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The #1 New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark has written thirty-eight suspense novels, four collections of short stories, a his­torical novel, a memoir, and two children’s books. With bestselling author Alafair Burke she wrote the Under Suspicion series. With her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, she has coauthored five more suspense novels.

Clark’s books have sold more than 100 milli

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