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Good King Wenceslas Paperback – July 26, 2005
Frequently Bought Together
From Publishers Weekly
Arresting woodcuts illustrate the traditional carol about a king who aids the needy. "Cool shades of winter blues and whites provide an eye-catching contrast to the thick, hand-lettered text," said PW. Ages 5-8. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
PreS-Gr. 2. In the city of Prague, in the Czech Republic, there is a square, and in the square is a statue of the country's patron saint. So begins this winning tribute to the tenth-century Bohemian King Wenceslas and the popular Christmastime song bearing his name. Ladwig's oversize double-page spreads are engaging and expressive, illustrating and enlivening this slightly adapted story-song from the moment when the king and his page spot the poor man gathering wood in the cold to their dangerous, icy trek to his house through the snow. "Page and monarch forth they went, / forth they went together, / through the rude wind's wild lament / and the bitter weather." A historical note and the musical notation for the song (plus Neale's five original verses) are appended. A holiday treat. Karin Snelson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top Customer Reviews
The Illustrator, Christopher Manson, has gone through a great deal of work to produce a beautiful book of art telling the story of "Good King Wenceslas", as well known by the carol of the same name, written by John Mason Neale in 1853.
The colorful illustrations match the Christmas season, with the front piece and the back piece both being intertwined holly. The book presents the entire carol. Each stanza of the carol faces an illustration portraying the action in the song: for example, at the beginning, the good King is actually looking out a window, with the wind obviously ruffling the pages of a book on a chair. King Wenceslas is presented as young man, with a concerned look on his face as he sees the tattered peasant "...gathering winter fuel." As the Page and the King carry food and pine logs to the peasant's dwelling, the winter cold grows harsher. The King tells the Page to walk in his foot steps, and the Page finds warmth in each foot print. I have always thought of this as an echo of Christ telling St. Peter to leave the boat and walk across the water to Him.
I look forward to my granddaughter, Katlain, using the music at the back of the book to play this carol at Christmas time, while my daughter, her aunt, supports her on the piano. Excellent book! That can become a family heirloom.
"Therefore, Christians all, be sure,
wealth or rank possessing,
ye who now will bless the poor,
shall yourselves find blessing."
The book uses all the verses of the song; except for a short introduction (which explains who the king was), there is no additional text. The last page of the book features simple piano sheet music and all the lyrics to the carol.
What I Like: Tim Ladwig's illustrations are gorgeous, featuring the shadows and lights cast by candles and fireplaces, and the glow of the moon on snowy scenes. He does a superb job of bringing this traditional carol to life. The cover of the book does the inner illustrations no justice at all.
I also must admit I didn't know the carol before reading this book. No matter. I hopped onto YouTube to listen to it, and immediately enjoyed it. I also let my children listen to the carol before we read the book. (You could also look at the book while the carol is playing, but there are a number of pages in the book that are wordless.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A beautifully illustrated version of the classic carol. I love to sing this with the children at church, as we pore over the detailed paintings and talk about the old language and... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Sarah Benjamin
Gives alitle insight into the carol, but seemsto beway over priced.Published 11 months ago by J. Wagner
This is an excellent book. The art is very beautiful and the text is simply a written down-verse accurate rendering of the original Christmas carol. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Jones
I think I love this book more than my kids! We love the story of King Wenceslas, and the illustrations in this book are beautiful!Published 17 months ago by bmullis
Rich, detailed illustrations enhanse the meaning of the text. The king and his page are tired and bored on the day after Christmas, but in the end they are happy in the company of... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Thistle Taylor