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Song of the Camels: A Christmas Poem by Elizabeth Coatsworth
     

Song of the Camels: A Christmas Poem by Elizabeth Coatsworth

by Elizabeth J. Coatsworth, Anna Vojtech (Illustrator)
 
In lush, luminous oil paintings, Anna Vojtech interprets a Christmas poem by Elizabeth Coatsworth, one of America's foremost children's poets, to create a most unusual version of the Nativity. Haunting and evocative, this is the story of the first Christmas told from the perspective of the wise men's camels as they follow the star across the desert to Bethlehem,

Overview

In lush, luminous oil paintings, Anna Vojtech interprets a Christmas poem by Elizabeth Coatsworth, one of America's foremost children's poets, to create a most unusual version of the Nativity. Haunting and evocative, this is the story of the first Christmas told from the perspective of the wise men's camels as they follow the star across the desert to Bethlehem, bearing their noble masters with gifts for the Christ child. Elegant, exotic in words and pictures, this is a Christmas book to ponder and to treasure.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 3 UpCoatsworth's sophisticated poem tells the familiar story of the three kings from the camels' point of view. Luminous oil paintings on canvas with effective uses of light build on the drama, from page to page and scene to scene, as these beasts are shown from differing dramatic perspectives. One double-page spread uses light splashes of yellow, white, green, and touches of brown to create the look and texture of sand that the animals kick up (their legs a veritable forest of blue-and-black toned muscle and bone) as they walk through the desert. On another, three proud heads stretch up into the starry night sky that is their backdrop. The panoramas of the desert capture a land of blue/gray mountains and an endless sky that carries the single bright star toward which they walk. The continuing contrast between the inky blue, star-filled sky and the blinding yellow light of the desert sand gives this book its own, unspoken, rhythm. On the final page, these recurring elements of darkness and light, blue and yellow, fade together as the camels' disappearing forms cast long shadows in the sand as Coatsworth ends her story: "Portents of glory and danger/Our dark shadows lay/At the feet of the babe in the manger/And then drifted away." A haunting and visually arresting book.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558588127
Publisher:
North-South Books, Inc.
Publication date:
09/01/1997
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.36(w) x 13.59(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Anna Vojtech has illustrated numerous books for children, mostly folktales and stories about nature. Nature has always been a strong source of inspiration for Anna. Her pictures are full of flowers and animals, of giraffes and elephants, of little birds and chipmunks. Folktales are also about people, their nature and their spirit. Her illustrations have brought readers closer to the stories and traditions of their countries.
Anna grew up in Prague, Czechoslovakia, what is now the Czech Republic. "Prague was a magical place to grow up. We were surrounded by beauty, mystery, history and by nature." She studied art and toy design at the School of Applied Arts and animation film and graphics at the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague. Later she attended the Royal Academy in Antwerp, Belgium and the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg, Germany where she met her German-American husband.
Since 1982 she has lived on Cape Ann, Massachusetts with her husband and their two sons.

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