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THE SECRET OF ST NICHOLAS

Author: Ellen Nibali

Illustrator: Lon Eric Craven

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Publisher: Fairland Books, 2010

Material: hard cover

Summary: Nicholas took to heart the story of Christmas and the Christian idea of "doing good deeds in secret." When his parents died, they left him three bags of gold, three more than he felt he needed. Three times, Nicholas helped a nobleman's family when they were out of money. For many years, the nobleman kept Nicholas' secret. But on his dying bed, he revealed Nicholas' name. By then, Nicholas had become a holy man, helping others as an avocation. This is a biographical story of Saint Nicholas.

Type of Reading: bedtime story,anytime reading, family reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 10; read yourself: 9 and Up

Interest Level: 6 to 9

Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Adult Reader Reaction: The illustrations are wonderful, and I love the potential this book offers. There is a true story here, and the author makes a wonderful connection between the stockings hanging on the line and the stockings filled for children today. All that said, the story felt a little flat for me, and at the end I felt disappointed. I was also confused about the audience. The story is meant to be shared with young readers, but some of the concepts are a bit mature for them.

Pros: Families interested in learning more about the real Saint Nicholas will enjoy sharing this story.

Cons: Parents may want to do more research about the real St. Nicholas so they can answer questions about how much of the story is true. I would like to have had some other references for books to share with young readers.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. The story is an important one, but this isn't the book you'll want for your Christmas book collection.

If You Liked This Book, Try: THE SANTA CLUB   THE DONKEY'S FIRST CHRISTMAS   THE MIRACLE OF THE FIRST POINSETTIA: A MEXICAN CHRISTMAS STORY

Educational Themes: The book explores Saint Nicholas' life. For older readers, there are themes of being frivolous, learning from your mistakes, and keeping a promise, as well.

Notes: The author sent a copy of this book to the Reading Tub, Inc. She donated a copy knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, biography, Christmas

Date(s) Reviewed: December 2014

Other Reviews: No Critics Reviews found; see reader feedback at amazon.com.




                 

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