Misty of Chincoteague

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Misty of Chincoteague
Misty of Chincoteague cover.jpg
First edition
Author Marguerite Henry
Country United States
Genre Children's novel, pony book
Publisher Rand McNally
Publication date
Pages 173 pp. (first ed.)
OCLC 176811
LC Class PZ10.3.H43 Mg[1]
Followed by Stormy, Misty's Foal

Misty of Chincoteague is a children's novel written by Marguerite Henry, illustrated by Wesley Dennis, and published by Rand McNally in 1947. Set in the island town of Chincoteague, Virginia, the book tells the story of the Beebe family and their efforts to raise a filly born to a wild horse. It was one of the runners-up for the annual Newbery Medal, now called Newbery Honor Books.[2] The 1961 film Misty was based on the book.[3]


Misty was inspired by a real Chincoteague Pony. That horse was foaled in domesticity in 1946 on Chincoteague at the Beebe Ranch, not in the wild on Assateague Island as told in the book. However, as in the book she was sired by a stallion named Pied Piper, out of a dam called Phantom. Though these horses also were domesticated in real life, they too provided inspiration for the wild ponies portrayed in the novel. Misty was a pinto horse whose coloration included a large patch of white on her side, shaped like the United States. Her hoof prints are in the sidewalk outside the Roxy Movie Theatre in Chincoteague.[4] After being purchased by Henry as a weanling and spending part of her life at Marguerite Henry's Wayne, Illinois home, she was moved back to Chincoteague and in 1972 she died. Her body and that of her foal Stormy have been preserved via taxidermy and can be seen at the Beebe Ranch.[5][6] Misty had three foals, Phantom Wings in 1960, Wisp O' Mist in 1961, and Stormy in 1962. As of 2011, there are around 80 known surviving descendants of Misty.[7]


  • Misty of Chincoteague, illustrated by Wesley Dennis (1947)
  • Sea Star: Orphan of Chincoteague, illus. Wesley Dennis (Rand McNally, 1949), sequel novel, OCLC 4669796
  • Misty, the Wonder Pony, by Misty, Herself, illus. Clare McKinley (1956), picture book
  • Stormy, Misty's Foal (1963), illus. Wesley Dennis, sequel novel
  • A Pictorial Life Story of Misty, drawings by Wesley Dennis (Rand McNally, 1976), OCLC 2423734
  • Misty's Twilight, illus. Karen Haus Grandpré (Macmillan, 1992) – "Captivated by the story of Misty of Chincoteague, a woman with a horse farm in Florida raises one of Misty's descendants to become a champion show horse", OCLC 25007971

In the second novel Sea Star, published only two years after the original, Misty is "sold to be shared with children the country over" and the Beebe children rescue a "tiny orphaned colt" after the Pony Penning.[8]

The fourth novel Misty's Twilight was published after Henry's 90th birthday, and almost 30 years after the third. Kirkus Reviews observed that it was "billed as fiction but more like a fictionalization concerning one of Misty's descendants". It concluded its contemporary review, "this adult-centered narrative about an affluent doctor—whose troubles with her horse are always addressed by hiring yet another trainer—may be authentic, it will be of interest mostly to those who relish every crumb about Misty's family."[9]

For the 50th anniversary of the original novel, only the month before Henry's death, Simon & Schuster released a diary garnished with quotations from Misty of Chincoteague and new illustrations by Bill Farnsworth (Little Simon, October 1997); ISBN 9780689817694.


  1. ^ "Misty of Chincoteague" (first edition). Library of Congress Online Catalog. Retrieved 2015-02-16.
  2. ^ Newbery Medal and Honor Books, 1922–Present
  3. ^ Misty at the Internet Movie Database.
  4. ^ Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce
  5. ^ Chincoteague story
  6. ^ Misty profile at roadsideamerica.com
  7. ^ "Misty's Heaven Descendants of Misty of Chincoteague". Retrieved 2011-01-29. 
  8. ^ "Sea Star: Orphan of Chincoteague" (starred review). Kirkus Reviews. No date. Retrieved 2015-02-14.
  9. ^ Misty's Twilight". Kirkus Reviews. June 15, 1992. Retrieved 2015-02-14.

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