The Legend of the Christmas Rose

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9781434472861: The Legend of the Christmas Rose

Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf (1858-1940) was a Swedish author and the first woman writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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From School Library Journal:

The Robber Family, banished for the father's theft of a cow, live in a cave in the forest. When the mother and her children enter the cloister garden to admire the flowers, a lay brother asks them to leave. They refuse, and the old abbot is called. Mother Robber tells him of how the forest is transformed on Christmas Eve into a beautiful garden, a Christmas miracle that the old abbot longs to see. The bishop agrees to a pardon for Robber Father if he can see a flower from the Christmas garden. The following year the old abbot and the lay brother come to the forest to see for themselves; here the old abbot dies, clutching a handful of root bulbs. The lay brother plants them, and they bloom the following Christmas and forever after. This long legend, faithfully and smoothly retold, is set in the Middle Ages. Mikolaycak's attention to period detail as well as his dramatically composed pictures are evident, but the complexity of the setting and subject matter make the book of dubious interest to children.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

In this splendid retelling of a traditional Swedish folktale, an outcast family stops one day at a cloister to admire the abbot's private garden. Robber Mother tells the abbot of a far more glorious garden she knows of deep in the forest, one that blooms each Christmas Eve in remembrance of the Christ Child. The abbot longs to see it, and promises to ask the bishop for Robber Father's pardon if she will show it to him. In due course Robber Mother takes him there, but the young monk he has brought with him spoils the visit through his jealousy and fear. Though the Christmas garden never blooms again, each year at holiday time the Christmas rose sends forth its white blossoms. Greene's prose is crisp and elegant, and Mikolaycak's slightly brooding illustrations--in somber browns and greys--tie in well with the story's myth-like elements. Ages 5-8.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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