Marta and the Manger Straw: A Christmas Tradition from Poland

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9780310709947: Marta and the Manger Straw: A Christmas Tradition from Poland

In World War II Poland, a young girl receives straw at the Christmas Eve service to bring to her impoverished family. But on her way home, Marta meets others who are much poorer than she, and she shares her piece until there is nothing left. In spite of the lack of straw--though perhaps because of her generous heart---Marta finds riches she never expected in this tender tale of Christmas giving. The Traditions of Faith series features stories of how significant Christian traditions emerged from around the world. These traditions continue to be practiced today and encompass many different holidays. Each Traditions of Faith book includes an author's note about the history of the tradition, and ideas and activities to adopt into one's own family celebrations.

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From the Back Cover:

Marta goes to church Christmas morning to receive her piece of the manger straw. Traditionally, a piece of this straw means wealth in the coming year, something Marta and her family need. But as she’s walking home from church, Marta meets people who need the straw more than she does: an old woman; her friends Pela and Benek; and a hungry dog without a home. With a giving heart, Marta breaks off pieces of her precious straw, until there’s nothing left. When a fire destroys her house, Marta is upset that she has given away all her straw. Worried and feeling sad, Marta believes she’s now doomed to be poor. But when morning comes, Marta discovers riches she never could have imagined.

About the Author:

Virginia Kroll is the author of over fifty books for children and winner of a 2004 Children's choice award. A former elementary school teacher, she lives in New York with her husband and has raised six children of her own.

Robyn Belton is one of New Zealand's best known and most accomplished illustrators of children's books. She has received numerous awards, including both Picture Book Category and Best Book of the Year from New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards in 1997. She lives in Dunedin with her husband and three children.

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