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The Secret World of Hildegard
     

The Secret World of Hildegard

by Jonah Winter, Jeanette Winter (Illustrator)
 

From the star-studded author of DIZZY (and the mother-son team that brought you DIEGO) comes a picture book on the extraordinary Hildegard von Bingen, a woman who had the courage to take on kings.

Hildegard von Bingen composed hymns and symphonies, painted glorious pictures, compiled books on medicine, and wrote religious revelations of such ethereal beauty that

Overview


From the star-studded author of DIZZY (and the mother-son team that brought you DIEGO) comes a picture book on the extraordinary Hildegard von Bingen, a woman who had the courage to take on kings.

Hildegard von Bingen composed hymns and symphonies, painted glorious pictures, compiled books on medicine, and wrote religious revelations of such ethereal beauty that they inspired the respect of Popes and kings--all in the Dark Ages when most people were illiterate and women were disdained.
Now Jonah Winter teams up once again with his mother, the award-winning illustrator Jeanette Winter, to bring you Hildegard's remarkable story. The result is a lyrical biography that captures Hildegard's faith and beauty--and celebrates the courage it took for a singular woman to let her light shine.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

How does one explain to a child a girl's ability to see mystical visions? In this intriguing picture book biography of the 12th-century German scientist, musician and Christian heroine Hildegard von Bingen, the mother-and-son Winters use a blend of crisp, expository acrylic illustrations and a text that blends emotion and historical perspective. Young Hildegard knows her place as a girl growing up in the "Dark Ages." She doesn't speak of the vivid scenes of flames, stars and angels that appear inside her mind for fear of retribution, even though maintaining her secret causes her various ailments. But when she hears the voice of God and receives a commandment to share her visions with the world, everything changes. Jonah Winter employs a refrain "And there was grayness/and silence and sorrow,/ though a light shone brightly inside her," reminding readers of the spiritual aspects of Hildegard's faithful, obedient life. His direct writing style makes Hildegard's confusion, suffering and ultimate rejoicing palpable for young readers. Jeanette Winter uses bold graphic imagery, rich, earthy tones and distinct facial expressions in her elegantly composed, neatly framed paintings, conveying a sense of drama and reverence throughout. A concise profile and bibliography further illuminate Hildegard's many outstanding achievements. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature
Hildegard was born with a special talent. She has visions. But she soon learns not to speak of them. This silence leads her to suffer from great headaches, yet she persists in hiding her talents. Soon she is sent to a convent and for many years Hildegard lives under the care of a woman named Jutta. It is at the convent that Hildegard truly thrives and becomes a talented scientist, a musician, and a writer. As the years pass she also realizes that her visions have a place in the world. They are a gift from God, and she begins to speak of them once more. She even writes a book inspired by them. Soon many people are drawn to this remarkable yet humble woman. This is the story of an extraordinary woman of faith. And this small text offers girls the chance to learn about a woman of great talent and influence. It may even inspire further research into this and other notable women in history. The illustrations are colorful and eye-catching. They enhance the story well. This would make an interesting purchase but would not be recommended for individuals who do not wish to touch upon religious beliefs. Reviewer: Monserrat Urena
Children's Literature - Marry Quattlebaum
Born 900 years ago, Hildegard von Bingen became a renowned composer, scientist and religious visionary at a time when women were allowed few accomplishments. Author Jonah Winter and illustrator Jeanette Winter, his mother, share Hildegard's life story in The Secret World of Hildegard. Designed to resemble the medieval illuminated manuscripts of Hildegard's time, this lyrical biography acquaints young readers with a girl deemed strange and sickly because of the "flames and stars" she sees in her head. But when Hildegard begins to write down her visions they have the power to move pope and king alike. An author's note provides historical context and additional biographical details. An excellent choice to help celebrate National Women's History Month with a book about a woman who was smart, creative and wielded considerable influence n her time. Reviewer: Marry Quattlebaum

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439507394
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
09/01/2007
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
AD810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author


Jonah Winter has written many exciting picture book biographies for children, with subjects that include Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Barack Obama, and Dizzy Gillespie. He lives in Pittsburgh, PA.

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