Come Meet Sundance!              Books Featuring Our Horses

Frequently Asked Questions


Upcoming Events

Magic Selected Most Heroic Pet In America

READING IS MAGIC in Magazines, Newspapers and on Television

READING IS MAGIC in the Movies


  Canine Movie Star Benji teams up with READING IS MAGIC



READING IS MAGIC Authors and Illustrators

Be A READING IS MAGIC Hero How You Can Help

Links To Sponsors and Friends

Mission Statement

Wish List and Volunteer Opportunities


Photography Contest Winners  featuring READING IS MAGIC Horses

Elephants, Zebras and READING IS MAGIC, Oh My

Magic Horses Poem

Magical Moments Fashion Show

The Magic of Horses 2009 Fundraiser

Buy A Book, Help A Child

Home Sweet Home

Photo Memories

What Is So Special About Horses?

Becoming a Therapy Horse or READING IS MAGIC Horse





   Introducing   CHAPS






























Contact Us

Gentle Carousel's Reading Is Magic is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity.

Your donations are tax deductible. Help bring books to life for children.

Gentle Carousel Inc.

P.O. Box 1672

High Springs, FL  32655

Phone: 352-226-9009


    Magic selected Most Heroic Pet In America. See her in AARP the Magazine.

Gentle Carousel in Woman's World magazine.

Gentle Carousel was selected a charity partner in Disney's 2010 volunteer program "Give a Day. Get a Day."


    What an honor and thrill to have Gentle Carousel's Sundance as a riveting character in JASON AND ELIHU.-Shelley Fraser Mickle

"Your Reading Is Magic program and volunteers are heroes every time they walk into a school or library.  Using little miniature horses to inspire young children to read is most creative.  Congratulations on your wonderful charity, spirit and service to your community."

- Bill Bennett " Former Secretary of Education William J. Bennett


"Reading Is Magic!

Every child you inspire to read is a life forever changed. Thank you for that and for bringing books to life...

...Reading is magic. It can take you from outer space to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Either way, the journey is magical.

 ...Wow.  Love those little horses... Great job you're doing.  I'm proud of you." 

-Homer Hickam

  "To Magic and Gentle Carousel,  Thank you for all of your work.  Helping children read is the greatest magic of all,,,"

- James Gurney,

Best-selling author and illustrator of the Dinotopia book series.  Thank you for the original artwork you created for Reading Is Magic.


Canine movie star Benji working with Magic.

"What they are doing is just so incredible.  They are making a difference. These people are the real deal.  They are down there in the trenches doing it."

 -Joe Camp

  Film writer, producer, director, bestselling author and man behind canine superstar Benji.

"What 'Reading Is Magic' does for kids by going into schools and igniting excitement for reading a story is beyond compare.  Keep the hoofbeats going."

Carl Joseph, Author of SOME CALLED ME

"Magic and Gentle Carousel,

  Inspiring children to read is magical.You are making a difference!"

 Chris Soentpiet - Acclaimed children's book author and illustrator

Presenting a library with one of the signed posters donated by Christ Soentpiet to Reading Is Magic.

Reading Is Magic on television.

"...Thank you for all the work you do.

...Reading is Magic!"

- Linda Sue Park, Newbery Award winner


Author Jessica Burkhart and Magic.

Gentle Carousel,

...Always follow your dreams.  Never let anyone tell you that you can't do something.  Stay positive and stay strong.  You have the ability to make amazing things happen!" Love, Jessica Burkhart 

Author of the Canterwood Crest book series

"Keep up the wonderful work you do...   

Best, Jon " Jon Provost - Appeared as Timmy Martin on Lassie

Magic appearing on The Ilene Silverman Show.


"To Gentle Carousel's Reading Is Magic,

You are making magic everyday with each child you help..."

- Dianne Ochiltree

Magic with four-time Olympian and ten-time US Female Equestrian Athlete of the Year, Karen O'Connor.

Life in the Galloping Lane, O'Connor


Magic with  David O'Connor, president of the United States Equestrian Federation, Olympic gold medalist and Pan American Games and World Equestrian Games medalist.

"To Magic and Gentle Carousel-

 You have a wonderful program. Thank you for bringing joy to children... Keep reading! It is magic!"

-Anna Grossnickle Hines, author and illustrator of over 50 children's books.


"Reading Is Magic,

Thank you for helping children learn to read...

- Michael Storrings"



  Sundance stars in the popular children's novel JASON AND ELIHU, A FISHERMAN'S STORY published by Wild Onion Press.

Sundance meeting fans.


  Several photos of Sundance appear in JASON AND ELIHU.  Sundance's outgoing personality was captured by author Shelley Fraser Mickle including his love of peppermints and his talent for smiling.


Since Sundance cannot sign his book, he kisses one of his photos in the book as an autograph.

Sundance smiles for a new friend .

Sundance will be making special appearances with Gentle Carousel's Reading Is Magic programs in 2010.


      JASON AND ELIHU raises money for child abuse prevention programs with its emphasis on literacy strengthening families.  "Reading together nurtures relationships." 



Shelley Fraser Mickle and Gentle Carousel's Sundance

Shelley Fraser Mickle grew up in Arkansas and Tennessee and graduated from the University of Mississippi. She studied writing at the University of Mississippi, the Harvard Extension School, and Wellesley College.

  Her first novel, THE QUEEN OF OCTOBER, was a l989 New York Times Notable Book; her second novel, REPLACING DAD, became a CBS movie and is now frequently shown on the Hallmark Channel, starring Mary McDonnell and teen heartthrob Eric von Detten.

Shelley began reading her humorous essays on National Public Radio in l995, and her collection of some of these was published in 2000, titled The Kids Are Gone; The Dog Is Depressed & Mom's on the Loose.

Her humorous essays have also recently become a part of the public radio program Recess, which is being picked up from satellite in radio stations in twenty listening areas ranging from Jacksonville to Columbus, Albuquerque to Milwaukee, Mobile Alabama, parts Texas and the state of Wyoming.

In August, 2000 she began reading her humorous essays on NPR's "Morning Edition".

What an honor and thrill to have Sundance as a riveting character in JASON AND ELIHU.

Shelley Fraser Mickle



       Sundance in a photo from the book Jason and Elihu.  In this scene he is stealing from the trash cans at the local country store.


 Sundance helped give away 200 copies of Jason and Elihu to children in downtown Jacksonville as part of Prevent Child Abuse America/The Ounce of Prevention Fund Florida.

  The Board of Directors of Family Support Services of North Florida donated the books.


Sundance autographs his book with a kiss.

Everyone loves a real "Sundance Kissed Book!"


Sundance knows how to entertain a crowd.


Sundance meeting fans with author Shelley Fraser Mickle.

Sundance meeting fans with author Shelley Fraser Mickle.

Magic teams up with Sundance to say hello to young fans.

Sundance autographing books with a kiss at the amphitheatre at Tioga Town Center.


Sundance makes first Gainesville Appearance with author Shelley Mickle

Sundance, the miniature horse that is a character in the just-released novel, JASON AND ELIHU, A FISHERMAN\'S STORY, by Shelley Fraser Mickle, will be making his first Gainesville public appearance at the town square in Tioga Town Center Saturday, May 15th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sundance was trained to fulfill his role in the novel by learning to smile on cue and count out how many peppermints he wants.

JASON AND ELIHU is a children\'s novel set at our beloved Cross Creek in the literary tradition of THE YEARLING. It features an 11-year-old boy dream-bitten with the desire to catch Elihu, the legendary bass. Two foster children join the hunt and a young girl, named Jazel, who has to revise her dream of becoming an ice skater when a brain tumor robs her balance.

Whenever Elihu is caught, the mighty fish whispers a secret. That is, if Elihu is ever caught, since Old Snout, the gator, tends to rise out of the water and snap the line whenever Elihu is hooked. So when you learn the secret, you must keep it!

JASON AND ELIHU is a fundraiser for foster care with its focus on prevention. The novel is perfect for families to read together. Lynn McNeill, elementary school principal, says, \"This book needs to be in the hands of children.\"

Shelley will also be signing 101 DOG STREET, THE STORY OF AMOS, THE BUMMED-OUT CANINE, a chapter book for second grade that is a fundraiser for the Ferrero Children\'s Hospital Foundation.
Come meet Shelley and Sundance. Also Magic, the miniature horse, recently voted \"The Most Heroic Pet in America,\" will be there.

Both JASON AND ELIHU, $15 and 101 DOG STREET, $12, are published by Wild Onion Press, Books Starring Kids with Physical Differences with a portion of each books' proceeds going to its nonprofit partner.

Sundance with Jason and Elihu author Shelley Fraser Mickle.

Sundance saying hello to young readers.

Gentle Carousel's READING IS MAGIC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity.

Your donations are tax deductible.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man." ~Winston Churchill