THE CHRISTMAS ROSE by Sepp Bauer

THE CHRISTMAS ROSE

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Age Range: 6 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

This old-fashioned Christmas story was first published in Germany in 1920, with a plot that uses regional holiday traditions such as St. Nicholas (St. Nikolaus in this version) and a present-delivering angel (rather confusingly called the Christ Child). The lengthy story is divided chronologically, with a page of text and an illustration for each day from December 6 to December 24. The main characters are Fritz and Gretl, a brother and sister on a quest to help their sick father. The children journey to the frozen North to acquire a magical white rose from the Winter King that will restore his good health. They are aided on their quest by various wild animals, angels and St. Nikolaus himself. Wenz-Viëtor’s illustrations, set off with wide, deep-blue borders, have the linear style and heavy outlines characteristic of children’s illustrations in the ’20s, which may look outdated to today’s children but charmingly retro to adults. An introductory note sets the story within German Christmas traditions, and a concluding note details the publishing history. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 15th, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-58089-232-2
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Charlesbridge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2008