Marguerite Henry Author of Horse Books for Children

2018 December 23
Marguerite Henry childrens horse book author

Popular children's author Marguerite Henry was born Marguerite Breithaupt on April 13, 1902 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was the youngest of five children. Bed-ridden from the age of six to twelve due to rheumatic fever, she was not able to attend school. During those years of sickness, young Marguerite developed a love for animals and writing. At eleven, she sold her first story to a magazine.

She married Sidney Henry when she was twenty-one. The two were married for sixty-four years, but had no children.

When Mrs. Henry wrote her first horse book, Justin Morgan Had a Horse, she searched for an illustrator. She loved the work of Wesley Dennis. The two would go on to work together on nearly twenty books.

Henry is best known for Misty of Chincoteague (1947) and the Misty series of books. In 1961, a movie version of the book was made. Misty is based on the Pony Penning event held each year in Chincoteague. Wild ponies from Assateague Island are rounded up, swum across the channel, and the foals auctioned to provide money for the volunteer fire department.

Mrs. Henry was a prolific writer. While her favorite topic was horses, (titles listed below) she also wrote stories about other animals. She wrote her last book Brown Sunshine of Sawdust Valley at the age of ninety-four, a year before she died.

Five O'Clock Charlie one of Henry's few picture books, was a favorite of my girls when they were younger and still is one of mine!


Marguerite Henry Horse Books

  • Justin Morgan Had a Horse, illus. Wesley Dennis (1945)
  • Misty of Chincoteague, illus. Wesley Dennis (1947)
  • King of the Wind: the Story of the Godolphin Arabian, illus. Wesley Dennis (1948) Newbery Award 1949
  • Sea Star, Orphan of Chincoteague, illus. Wesley Dennis (1949)
  • Born To Trot, illus. Wesley Dennis (1950) – about the Standardbred line
  • Album of Horses, illus. Wesley Dennis (1951)
  • Brighty of the Grand Canyon, illus. Wesley Dennis (1953)
  • Justin Morgan Had a Horse (revised), illus. Wesley Dennis (1954)
  • Misty, the Wonder Pony, by Misty, Herself, illus. Clare McKinley (1956) – picture book
  • Black Gold, illus. Wesley Dennis (1957) – about the horse Black Gold
  • Gaudenzia, Pride of the Palio, illus. Lynd Ward (1960)
  • All About Horses, illus. drawings by Wesley Dennis and photos (1962)
  • Five O'Clock Charlie, illus. Wesley Dennis (1962)
  • Stormy, Misty's Foal, illus. Wesley Dennis (1963)
  • Portfolio of Horse Paintings, illus. Wesley Dennis (1964)
  • White Stallion of Lipizza, illus. Wesley Dennis (1964)
  • Mustang, Wild Spirit of the West, illus. Robert Lougheed (1966)
  • Dear Readers and Riders (1969)
  • San Domingo, the Medicine Hat Stallion, illus. Robert Lougheed (1972)
  • The Little Fellow (revised), illus. Rich Rudish (1975)
  • A Pictorial Life Story of Misty, drawings by Wesley Dennis (1976)
  • One Man's Horse, illus. Wesley Dennis, with famous paintings and prints by selected artists (1977)
  • The Illustrated Marguerite Henry, illus. Wesley Dennis, Robert Lougheed, Lynd Ward, Rich Rudish (1980)
  • Our First Pony, illus. Rich Rudish (1984)
  • Misty's Twilight, illus. Karen Haus Grandpre (1992)
  • Album of Horses: a pop-up book, illus. Ezra N. Tucker (1993)
  • Brown Sunshine of Sawdust Valley, illus. Bonnie Shields (1996)
  • My Misty Diary, illus. Bill Farnsworth (1997)

Movie Versions of Her Books

  • Misty of Chincoteague (1961)
  • Brighty of the Grand Canyon (1967)
  • Justin Morgan had a Horse (1972)
  • San Domingo, the Medicine Hat Stallion (1977) adapted for television as Peter Lundy and the Medicine Hat Stallion
  • King of the Wind (1990)


Marguerite Henry photo from Wikipedia

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