Marguerite Henry’s first horse story was Justin Morgan Had a Horse; her 1949 best-seller, King of the Wind, won the Newbery Medal.
All of her horse stories are fact-based fiction; one of the most popular series began with Misty of Chincoteague, a real pony. Gifted artist Wesley Dennis created the beautiful illustrations for Henry’s books.
C. W. Anderson wrote and illustrated more than a dozen books for children, mostly dealing with horses. Billy and Blaze was the first title in a series about a young boy and his horse; the author’s beautiful pencil and charcoal illustrations make all his works especially collectable. A friend of the author’s gave him a fine thoroughbred horse named Bobcat that served him as a model for many years.
One of the best animal artists was Paul Brown, whose easily-recognizable strong black-and-white line made his work highly desirable when it came to illustrating horse and dog stories. An author also, Brown wrote several children’s books including Merry Legs; Piper’s Pony; Pony Farm, etc.
Will James was born in Montana in 1892 and virtually grew up on the range. Orphaned at an early age, James was adopted by a French Canadian trapper who taught him to read and write; he never received any formal schooling. However, the boy had a natural gift for drawing and eventually sold some of his work to magazines. His real fame came after the publication of his semi-autobiographical book, Smoky, the Cow-Horse in 1926. He went on to write several other books based on his experiences, and his vivid illustrations capture all the flavor of the old West.