Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE HURON CAROL by Jesse Edgar Middleton


by Jesse Edgar Middleton & illustrated by Ian Wallace

Age Range: 5 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-88899-711-6

Legend has it that a Jesuit missionary, Father Jean de Brebeuf, created this Christmas carol in 1641 for the Huron Indians with whom he was working. Sung by the Huron (Ouendat) and handed down through generations, the tale was translated into French and then finally into English, in 1926 by Middleton. Some of Wallace’s double-page watercolor paintings are exceptional—glorious blues, warm browns and touches of gold and red. Especially illuminating is the double-page spread showing the gifts (fox and beaver pelts) being presented. Colors change quickly, though, with more gold and red than warmth—changing the feel for the carol itself. Whatever the intent, the intensely red and blue hair is almost hideous rather than radiant. Readers may prefer Frances Tyrrell’s version (Eerdmans, 2003) that strays from nature and has more of a liturgical feel—with illustrations that show authentic clothing and setting. (Picture book/poetry. 5-10)