The Legend of Saint Nicholas / by Anselm Grun; illustrated by Giuliano Ferri. 5.6.2015

Eerdmans Books for Young Readers ISBN 9780802854346

PRI Grades 1-3 Rating: 4

The Legend of Saint Nicholas tells a few of the legends and miracles associated with Saint Nicholas of Myra. Even Nicholas’s birth is an answer to prayer, the first of many answered prayers associated with him. From girls needing dowries to sailors floundering in the midst of storms and little boys drowning at sea, the goodness and miracles attributed to Nicholas create tales that foster a love for him and his goodness. “Like Jesus, he wanted to help people and to tell them about God’s love.”

Anselm Grun’s writing style is simple and to the point as he unfolds the tales of Saint Nicholas. Though he presents several storries from Nicholas’s life, the story flows smoothly from event to event. Nicholas, as presented in this book, doesn’t seem to grow or change much throughout his life, since from his childhood he seeks to do good for others, a theme that continues throughout his life and beyond his death. Illustrator Giuliano Ferri brings the setting and characters to life through his artwork. Nicholas’s life seems to point to God’s goodness, and when people attribute miracles (at least one of which parallels Jesus’ miracles) to him, Nicholas is quick to reply, “You should not thank me, but God. It is he who saved you.”

Kristina Wolcott, CLJ

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