DANIEL'S GIFT by M.C. Helldorfer
Kirkus Star


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A lyrical, delicately illustrated picture book inspired by The Second Pageant, by the 15th-century Wakefield Master. Unlike his two older brothers, Daniel is a dreamer and a believer, so his brothers don't trust him alone with the flock. One cold winter night, however, the two lazy brothers trick Daniel into watching the sheep while they sleep. As Daniel sits with Mammoth, his favorite sheep, and plays his wooden pipe, a man steps out from the trees and promises to tell Daniel amazing stories about all-powerful kings. But as the stranger drones on, Daniel falls asleep; he is awakened by his brothers' shouting that a sheep is missing. In the end, Daniel doesn't give up easily: he outwits both his brothers and the person who has stolen Mammoth. This Christmas story is a celebration of one little boy's faith in the goodness of others. Downing's jewel-like watercolor illustrations, make effective use of sculptural forms, unusual points of view, and imaginative borders; inspired by the medieval Book of Hours, they add warmth--and humor--to this winter's tale.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1987
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Bradbury