Jean Richardson Stephen's Feast

ISBN 13: 9780316744355

Stephen's Feast

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9780316744355: Stephen's Feast
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Stephen, the youngest page at the court of King Wenceslas, is asked to accompany his monarch on a mission of good will to a poor peasant.

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From Publishers Weekly:

In this pleasing retelling of the Christmas carol about good King Wenceslas, lively storytelling combines with atmospheric artwork to adroitly evoke a sense of time and place. Stephen, the king's page, is summoned to identify a sad, lone figure in the town square. He recognizes the man to be a poor farmer who often comes into town "looking for things . . . firewood . . . and scraps from the kitchen." For reasons Stephen cannot understand, King Wenceslas bids the boy load up on supplies, and they set off in a blinding snowstorm to deliver the food and wood to the man's family. When they arrive at the house, Stephen enjoys a warm--and warmhearted--feast. Richardson tells her story in a straightforward and ingratiating manner, wisely avoiding any exaggeration of the carol's events. Englander's rousing illustrations, full of rich hues of gold and red, perfectly capture the gusto of the holiday season. The carol appears in full on the attractive endpapers, inviting readers to delve into the pages within. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

The carol about ``Good King Wenceslas'' is expanded into a sentimental story in which a rather thoughtless young page is taken along to see how the less fortunate live; the bounty he and his king take to the humble cottage is shared in a sumptuous feast after the king himself builds up the fire. The telling is adequate if prosaic; it does serve to explicate John Mason Neale's verse, which younger children may find obscure. Englander's attractive illustrations set the story appropriately in medieval Eastern Europe; the page (also named Stephen--it's his birthday as well as the saint's day) looks like an appealing blond member of a modern third grade, while the grandly clothed king is thoughtful and suitably benign. Not essential, but enjoyable. (Picture book. 4-8) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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