Project Description



by Constance W. McGeorge
illustrated by Mary Whyte

A long time ago in a city by the sea, there lived a horse named Chestnut.

Chestnut belongs to Mr. Decker, who runs a delivery service. Each morning at dawn, Mr. Decker harnesses his horse to the wagon to make deliveries around the city.

On the morning of the mayor’s daughter’s birthday, there are important deliveries to be made: flour to the baker for Jenny’s birthday cake, bows to the hatmaker for a birthday bonnet, and a sack of sugar to the candymaker to prepare sweets for the party guests. But when Mr. Decker oversleeps, Chestnut must set off alone, pulling the heavy wagon through the morning fog, following the familiar steps to the merchants’ stores to make the special deliveries.

Constance McGeorge has written a charming tale of a steadfast horse whose faithfulness saves the day. Illustrator Mary Whyte’s lovely paintings bring Chestnut to life and perfectly recreate the bustle of turn-of-the-century city life. As they turn the pages, young readers will almost hear the sound of the horse’s iron shoes clattering over the cobblestones.

Hardcover: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-321-4
Total Pages: 32
Size: 9 1/2 x 11
Language: English
Accelerated Reader
AR Quiz#: 78685
AR Reading Level: 3.5
AR Points: 0.5

F&P (Fountas & Pinnell)
F&P Level: O
F&P Grade: 3


“The airy, soft-hued watercolor illustrations are as lovely as the lilting language… Varied perspectives add interest and drama to the artwork. Young horse lovers will embrace this charming tale.” ―School Library Journal

“Whyte’s watercolors of a picturesque, nineteenth-century town, modeled on Charleston, South Carolina, meld beautifully with McGeorge’s quiet, homespun tale of determination and devotion.” ―Booklist

“…a delightful story that is detailed yet simple and understandable for the young child to grasp. The lovely watercolors by Mary Whyte are soft, detailed with each two-page spread opening up the 19th century scenes of a pleasant, easy-going seacoast town…” ―Chat with Vera blog


Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (primary) ―Kansas National Education Association 2005

SEBA Book Award (nominee, Children’s category) ―Southeastern Booksellers’ Association 2005

Meet the Author

Constance W. McGeorge received BS and MA degrees in education from The Ohio State University, and in addition to teaching, has worked in marketing research. She is the author of numerous books for children, including the Boomer books; Chestnut; Waltz of the Scarecrows; and Snow Riders. She lives in Ohio.

Meet the Illustrator

Mary Whyte is an illustrator and fine artist. Her books include the Boomer books; Chestnut; Waltz of the Scarecrows; Snow Riders; I Love You the Purplest; A Box of Friends; and Mama’s Way. She has also written and illustrated two titles: Alfreda’s World and Watercolor for the Serious Beginner. A graduate of Tyler School of Art, she lives in South Carolina, where she and her husband own and manage the Coleman Fine Art gallery.