Snow Horses: A First Night Story

Snow Horses cover
Snow Horses: A First Night Story by Patricia MacLachlan. Illustrated by Micha Archer

By Patricia MacLachlan
Illustrated by Micha Archer
Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2002
40 pages

Ages 3-8

“Snow falling / all day— / all night. / Drifting over / meadows / and gardens / and roads.” Tim and Tom, “midnight black” Percheron horses, love the snow. Jenny, their driver, hitches them to a sleigh decked with lights, their bridles bedecked with bells and jingling. In the snow-bright dark they make their way to town, joining the celebration marking the last night of the year. Tim and Tom give sleigh rides to brightly bundled children. After the children have gone home and gone to bed, Tim and Tom pull “grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts and uncles, and longtime friends” who remember when they were children. A small golden dog runs alongside the sleigh throughout the night. Like the children, and the grown-ups, the dog eventually goes home to sleep. Jenny takes Tim and Tom back to the barn, where they sleep too. “The next morning Tim and Tom will wake in the sunlight … happy New Year to the town, to the children—to the grandmothers—grandfathers—aunts and uncles—and longtime friends—to Tim and Tom—to Jenny who drove them—And to a little golden dog…” Exquisite collage illustrations comprised of homemade paper and ink and showing a diverse community amplify the abundant warmth and beauty and brightness of this lyrical First Night story full of captivating details.  ©2022 Cooperative Children’s Book Center