The Bearer of Gifts

Overview

One wintry night near the top of the world in Lapland, a brilliant new star appears in the sky. Gazing at it in wonder, a lonely wood-carver is sure it is the sign of something strange and wonderful. When the star moves eastward, he packs his carvings in a sack, harnesses the reindeer to his sled, and follows it halfway across the world to a lowly stable where a newborn baby is lying in a manger. Miraculously transformed by his encounter with the blessed child, the wood-carver returns home, determined to ...
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Overview

One wintry night near the top of the world in Lapland, a brilliant new star appears in the sky. Gazing at it in wonder, a lonely wood-carver is sure it is the sign of something strange and wonderful. When the star moves eastward, he packs his carvings in a sack, harnesses the reindeer to his sled, and follows it halfway across the world to a lowly stable where a newborn baby is lying in a manger. Miraculously transformed by his encounter with the blessed child, the wood-carver returns home, determined to commemorate the childÆs birth. And so on every Christmas Eve since, he harnesses the reindeer to his sled and brings joy to millions of children around the world. Laplanders call him Father Christmas. American children know him as Santa Claus. Kenneth StevenÆs deeply moving story, beautifully complemented by Lily MoonÆs luminous paintings, joyfully communicates the true spirit of the holiday to believers of all ages.

After a Laplander wood carver gives the Christ child a special present, he is inspired to bring gifts to other children, and becomes known as Father Christmas.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 1-3--This simple tale begins in Lapland when a lonely wood-carver spies a "brilliant star shining in the eastern sky." As the star moves, the man follows it on his reindeer with a sack of his carvings in tow to exchange for food. At last, he makes his way to Bethlehem and meets a newborn baby in a manger. In one miraculous moment, his life is changed forever. His clothing is transformed into the traditional red suit and Santa Claus, in a sense, is born. After he journeys back home, the enlightened traveler carves toys for children, "in memory of the day he had met the child who would save the world." In Moon's capable hands, the minimal text is infused with life. The tiny yet exquisite artwork is full of gentle humor. Stylized miniature people and animals with big bellies and stick legs appear throughout the book.--MMH
Kirkus Reviews
Santa Claus as a Sami woodcarver? Why not, suggests Steven in this affable concoction that finds a Laplander in Bethlehem. A woodcarver spends the long Arctic nights fashioning useful items from wood, but one winter notices a star that has appeared, bigger than any he has ever seen. As winter dwindles, the woodcarver harnesses his reindeer and follows the star, all the way to that well-known manger, bartering his carved objects along the way. By the time he locates the manger, all he has left is a wooden star. This he gives to the child: "It is all I have, but I give it in thanks for finding you. I shall never forget this night." In the child's presence, the woodcarver's tattered homespun is transformed into a familiar-looking red outfit. Then it is back to Lapland to start a tradition of midwinter giving. Steven's notion of Santa Claus as a Sami is as logical as any other about this legendary figure, and certainly explains origins of the reindeer, sleigh, and deep cold north where he works. Moon's visually appealing illustrations are remote and stylized; they don't offer any close-ups of the interesting character found in Steven's tale, but delightfully chart his travels. (Picture book. 4-8) .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803723740
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/7/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.92 (w) x 8.64 (h) x 0.36 (d)

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