Children's Christian Fiction

The Legend of St. Nicholas: A Story of Christmas Giving | Dandi Daley Mackall

The Legend of St. Nicholas A Story of Christmas Giving By Dandi Daley Mackall, illustrated Richard Cowdrey  Published by Zondervan ISBN 0310731151
The Legend of St. Nicholas
A Story of Christmas Giving
By Dandi Daley Mackall, illustrated Richard Cowdrey
Published by Zondervan
ISBN 0310731151

Publisher’s Book Description:

In The Legend of St. Nicholas, the new artwork, created by Marley and Me illustrator, Richard Cowdrey, captivates audiences and tells the story of a young man named Nicholas, who was moved by the plight of the poor and needy. Nicholas spent his life secretly helping the poor all over the world, giving gifts on Christmas Eve to remind people of the greatest Gift of all, Jesus Christ. This gentle Christmas book introduces the original St. Nicholas and offers inspiration for readers to become cheerful givers themselves. The final pages in the book include fun Father Christmas traditions in other lands.

My Thoughts:

Every family celebrates Christmas in their own way. In our home we  blended Jesus and Santa into our Christmas morning celebrations. It’s a compromise that we make while the children are young because both my husband and I grew up with the Santa tradition.  Our children receive three gifts under the tree as Christ received three gifts from the wise men, while Santa fills their stockings. However you celebrate Christmas, The Legend of St. Nicholas will fit in nicely.

Your family can use this book as a tool to explain the inclusion of St. Nicholas in holiday traditions as well as his presence in fictional stories, movies, seasonal music, and shopping centers. These anecdotes include why it is believed he shimmies down chimneys. Without spoiling the wonder of Santa, the book notes God’s “greatest gift” of Jesus as St. Nicholas’ motivation for giving.

As a parent I enjoyed the emphasis on joyful giving. In the story a young boy named Nick stops with his father to deposit money in a bell-ringing Santa’s red bucket. At this point in the story Nick wants to save his extra money to but a gift for himself. After hearing the store Santa tell a group of children the legend of St. Nicholas, Nick has a change of heart. Instead of selfishly spending his extra tender on himself he decides to buy gifts for the collection box.

I believe The Legend of St. Nicholas is a good choice for your family, church, or school library. The cover is delightfully appealing to children and the colorful illustrations held our 6 year old daughter’s attention. By my estimation, this book would be suitable for children from pre-K through elementary ages. Although I encouraged our daughter to read the book aloud to me, she became fatigued by the use of larger words she had difficulty pronouncing. Older children or advanced readers will be able to manage on their own.

4 stars

I received this book free as a member of the BookLookBloggers review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

About the Author

Dandi Daley Mackall is the author of over 400 books and still can’t believe she gets to write for a living, helping children of all ages grow spiritually. She and her husband, Joe, both write from rural Ohio, where they’re blessed with three children and a variety of horses, dogs, and cats.

About the Illustrator

Richard Cowdrey’s favorite things to draw and paint are the things that reflect the awesomeness of God and His creation. From vast landscapes to the littlest bug on a leaf, Richard marvels at the beauty in the details. Richard’s bestselling children’s books include Bad DogMarley and A Very Marley Christmas.

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