Reviews for Legend of Saint Nicholas
Booklist Reviews 2003 October #1
Gr. 2-5. Children who think Santa Claus when they hear the name St. Nicholas will be surprised to hear the true story of the man who became the church's youngest bishop and the patron saint of butchers and prisoners as well as children. Born with spiritual gifts (at one day old, he stood in his bath and prayed to God!), Nicholas, in Buddhalike fashion, was distressed by the sorrow in the world and made it his mission to relieve suffering. Often he did this using miraculous means, saving sailors as an apparition and resurrecting three children who had been killed and pickled in brine to be served as food. Even middle-grade readers, the best audience for this, may be confused by some of the church-laden intricacies of the narrative, but the pictures are delightfully Demi. Representative scenes, set against buff-colored pages, burst through their gilded frames, and careful design work is evident right through to the endpapers, which show how Santa Claus is represented in various countries. Lovely and informative. ((Reviewed October 1, 2003)) Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2004 Spring
St. Nicholas's pious childhood, ministry to the poor, and celebrated miracles are the focus of this book, which features gilded illustrations in the style of centuries-old religious art. Nicholas's dealings with children and the brief coverage of Christmas traditions from around the world may be the book's main sources of appeal for young readers. The Prayer of St. Nicholas and the Beatitudes are included. Copyright 2004 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2003 November #1
Once again Demi has created an exquisitely illustrated introduction to the life of a famous historical figure, this time the saint from the third century who's connected to the modern-day Santa Claus. The text recounts stories from the life of the saint, including miracles attributed to him, and how he became a saint after his death. Demi gracefully explains the celebration of the feast day of St. Nicholas in the Middle Ages, when St. Nicholas became Sinter Klaas, and how that character was transformed into our more modern Santa Claus. She includes information on St. Nicholas as the patron saint for many groups and concludes her text with the prayer of St. Nicholas. Demi's paintings on each page are set off by thin gold borders, with each illustration including her signature use of metallic gold as well as brilliant jewel tones and delicate patterns of mosaics or patterned fabric. The handsome design includes ivory paper, deep red initial capitals and page borders, and striking endpapers that show St. Nicholas and Santa Claus in different costumes. Includes a map of the Middle East in the time of St. Nicholas. (Nonfiction. 7-10) Copyright Kirkus 2003 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2003 September #4
In her typically well-researched picture-book-biography style, Demi (Muhammad) explores the man and the myths (and the red suit and sleighful of toys). She chronicles stories of Nicholas's childhood as an extraordinarily compassionate and devoutly religious boy, and of the miracles that later made him the patron saint of children, prisoners and seafarers, among others. The text concludes with the saint's prayer. No commercial glitter here; what glistens are Demi's reverent, lavishly gilded paintings, many recalling Byzantine religious art, and the nifty gold-accented endpages that depict Santa Claus/Saint Nicholas/Sinter Klaas in his various guises around the world. Ages 5-10. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2003 October
Gr 1-4-This richly illustrated biography focuses on St. Nicholas, born around the year A.D. 280 in what is now Turkey. His active life of spirituality, good works, and miracles, especially concerning children, made him a popular saint after his death. The eventual melding of the December 6 feast day of St. Nicholas, which was celebrated with gift giving and merriment, with Christmas is explained clearly, giving children an understanding of how this man morphed into the Santa Claus they know today. The gilded paintings are full of absorbing, though sometimes anachronistic, details. In an illustration accompanying a story of Nicholas tossing coins into a girl's stocking, the stocking is bright red with a white top, very Christmas-y but not exactly third-century attire. The greatest strength of this book is its straightforward, affectionate depiction of a person who, by his deep love for the young and the needy, embodies the spirit of Christmas.-E. M. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.