Friday, April 13, 2012

M. Henry wrote Misty of Chincoteague

M. Henry and Misty
It is the birthday of writer Marguerite Henry (1902), whose book Misty of Chincoteague (1947) captured the imagination of children throughout the world. It was based on a real pony and set on the island of Chincoteague off the coast of Virginia.  A special breed of small feral horses live in the wild on nearby Asseatague Island. Theories on how they got there differ. One idea is that they are descended from Spanish horses that survived shipwrecks off the coast. A less glamorous theory is that mainland farmers in the 17th century put them out there to avoid paying taxes on them. Regardless of their origins, they create a mystique that led to Henry's book and four sequels. Misty and her foal, Stormy, died decades ago but they have been preserved through taxidermy and are on display at a ranch and museum in Chincoteague. Marguerite Henry wrote 59 books, mostly about animals, for children and young adults. Misty of Chincoteague won a Newbery Medal and was adapted as a 1961 movie.

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