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The Little White Horse Paperback – Jul 3 2000

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Lion Hudson; 2nd Revised edition edition (July 3 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745945783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745945781
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 141 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #57,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'The Little White Horse was my favourite childhood book. I absolutely adored it. It had a cracking plot. It was scary and romantic in parts and had a feisty heroine.' -- JK Rowling The Bookseller

About the Author

Elizabeth Goudge wrote a number of popular children’s and adult books, including Green Dolphin Street and I Saw Three Ships.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Jan. 30 2002
Format: Paperback
It's too bad that so few of Elizabeth Goudge's books are in print, though I am grateful that this one has been reprinted. I'd never read it before, and initially I was turned off by the unicorn illustration on the cover. But I'd heard lots of comments about how magical it was, and so I sat down to read.
Newly orphaned Maria Merryweather is being sent from London to Moonacre Manor, the castle-like home of her uncle, Benjamin Merryweather. Initially Maria and her devoted governess Miss Heliotrope expect the place to be cold and uncomfortable -- but Maria is delighted to see an enchanted, silvery landscape, and the brief vision of a white horse running past. She fits quickly into the slightly strange, almost idyllic surroundings -- despite the fact that no woman has come to Moonacre Manor in twenty years. But Sir Benjamin seems very pleasant -- as does the huge, unusual dog Wrolf.
Maria is enchanted both by the beautiful natural surroundings and the neighboring village of Silverydew. But she begins to sense that something is wrong: her uncle is unhappy about something and won't talk about the briefly-seen white horse. Her childhood invisible friend Robin returns to her -- and the inhabitants of Silverydew know him. Beautiful items are laid out in her tiny, luxurious room -- with the initials L.M. And strange dark figures are creeping through the woods near the sea. Maria soon finds out about a long-lasting story of magic, sadness, greed and darkness that has haunted her family for generations, and is determined to set it right.
Goudge was evidently one of the few authors who can effectively blur the line between reality and dreaminess. Some sections of her prose are almost intoxicating; she never held back from describing surroundings and items lushly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jill Schafer Boehme on March 12 2004
Format: Paperback
How difficult it is to find children's novels that are actually well-written, in a language that is not dumbed-down. Elizabeth Goudge's prose is truly beautiful. Her ability to paint a picture with words is refreshing and satisfying, and her writing most certainly draws the reader in -- one can't put the book down because one simply MUST know what happens to little Maria!
The story falls short not in the writing but in the actual content. Throughout the book, it is clear that Maria's every decision is made beforehand -- from the clothing that is mysteriously laid out for her in the morning to her trip to the castle of the Wicked Men. It is as though she is merely reading a script -- not boldly adventuring forth to seek her destiny. Perhaps the stunning writing of Ms. Goudge sets the reader up for a more complex, less predicatable storyline. In any case, I found myself sorely disappointed in the tale, while completely satisfied with the writing.
Why 4 stars then? There is great value in a well-written book, and compared to much of what is out there today, The Little White Horse shines. My nine-year-old daughter absolutely loved it -- and she is our resident Bookworm.
Borrow this book from the library before you invest in a copy. If your daughter's eyes are sparkling after she reads it, then by all means, grace your bookshelf with this novel. There are far worse choices out there.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Plume45 on July 10 2003
Format: Paperback
This 40's fantasy--beloved by J.K. Rowling--might be too
saccharine for the 21st century; it is certain to bore most boys by the end of chapter one. Uneven pacing makes this tale a difficult read to embrace immediately; the vocabulary is dated and requires frequent trips to the dictionary. Much time is spent in exposition, with little dialogue in the opening pages, so youthful readers will need great patience until the plot takes off. The behavior of the 13-year-old protagonist is unrealistic, as she orders her elders about, making decisions beyond her years. However noble her intentions, can she tame a lifelong villain and convert a confirmed bachelor? More importantly: can she learn to curb her own temper, which could jeopardize her dearest goals?
It has fallen to Maria Merryweather--the youngest in a line of unhappy moon princesses--to right century-old wrongs at and around Moonacre Manor. Upon arriving there as an orphan, accompanied by her faithful governess, Miss Heliotrope, Maria immediately loves the countryside, the quaint village and her middle-aged cousin/guardian. But gradually she discovers family secrets and town legends which transcend generations of pain and desapir. Can one slender girl make amends for past atrocities and more recent insults? And what was the fate of that elusive necklace of Moon Pearls?
Author Elizabeth Goudge has chosen to set her story in the early 19th century, so be prepared for many antiquated words and Victorian objects. Various animals--some with supernatural powers--are crucial to the denoument. One clear, prevailing theme is that of the need for balance and cooperation between the sun and the moon, between both moral and physical courage.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 28 2003
Format: Paperback
J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, describes this as having been her favorite childhood book. It was mine also -- and here are some reasons why. First, it is a terrific adventure story about a young girl who is feisty, opinionated, imperious and fiercely intelligent -- and who learns to control those qualities so that they become helpful instead of harmful.
Second, the book was written a few decades ago and -- surprise! it advocates old-fashioned values such as courage, honesty, kindness and gentle humor. One of the themes of this book is the redemptive power of love and forgiveness. How refreshing, in the era of crass, foulmouthed material from Disney and Nickelodeon being pushed by marketers as suitable fare for young children.
Third, the book is beautifully written. It does not condescend to young readers by assuming they cannot stretch their minds or vocabularies. It contains wonderful imaginative language, complex sentences, unfamiliar words and fantastic images, all wrapped in a story that is exciting enough to make many young readers curious about the unfamiliar elements. I loved this book so much as a child that I have kept my original paperback copy for 35 years and have bought hardcover copies for my children.
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