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The Legend of St. Nicholas: A Story of Christmas Giving Hardcover – September 30, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 105 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dandi Daley Mackall is the author of over 450 books. She still can’t believe she gets to write for a living, helping children of all ages grow spiritually. Dandi and her husband, Joe, both write from rural Ohio, where they’re blessed with three children and a variety of horses, dogs, and cats.


Guy’s first successful Christmas drawing was in third grade. His teacher, Mrs. Passarelli, had instructed the class to draw Christmas trees. Upon seeing Guy’s drawing, she stopped him and told him, "That’s perfect, don’t do anything more! Don’t touch it anymore!" She held Guy’s drawing up to the class as an example of how a Christmas tree should look - an encouraging first encounter with an art director.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz (September 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310713277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310713272
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 0.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #877,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Corinne H. Smith VINE VOICE on December 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
You might think it would be easy to translate the real story of Saint Nicholas of Myra into picture book form so that it can be shared with children. But the task is more complex than it first appears. If you research the origins of our Santa Claus, you either come up with voluminous information about travels, miracles, and patronage; or you land on a single statement that insists that no confirmed historical facts exist about him. It's tough to boil down the facts, such as they are, and figure out an engaging way to present them to young people.

Dandi Daley Mackall takes a stab at the assignment with THE LEGEND OF ST. NICHOLAS, which puts a contemporary twist on the historical account. The book begins with a boy named Nick who goes last-minute Christmas shopping with his father. Nick is more focused on what he'd like to get for himself, not on presents for his little brothers. But he overhears a department-store Santa retelling the story of Saint Nicholas. He learns a bit about a young man who saw suffering and had enough wealth of his own to help out his friends and deposit anonymous gifts at their homes. When he later saw how much his gifts were appreciated, Saint Nicholas decided to celebrate Christmas in that fashion from that point on. Hearing this tale had its effect on real-time Nick, and in no time he was busy figuring out what to get for his family members.

The plot is nicely done, even if we don't believe that a young person can be turned around so quickly these days. Guy Porfirio's illustrations are rich in color and expression (though the text mentions that Nick is ogling CDs, not the DVDs that he is seen holding in one scene). Children might be stunned at first to see Saint Nicholas depicted as a handsome young man, not much older than themselves.
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Format: Hardcover
In this delightful Christmas tale we meet Nick, a young boy who must do last minute Christmas shopping for his brothers' presents. Nick isn't thrilled about this. He'd much rather get gifts than give them, but that changes when Nick overhears a mall Santa retelling the legend of St. Nicholas.

We are taken into the world of a young St. Nicholas, in this tale, and shown how his tradition of gift-giving began. The children will see how Nicholas felt compassion for the less fortunate, and wanted to bring them some happiness. The idea of showing St.Nicholas as a child brings the story down to a child's level, and makes it easier for them to relate to and understand. Very good.

This is a truly heart-warming story for the child in your life that you desire to understand the true meaning of gift-giving
The illustrations are absolutely brilliant, colorful, and life like. The expressions on the faces definitely give light to the words being read. Excellent. All in all a wonderful book that I am pleased to recommend.
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Format: Hardcover
If you're trying to instill the spirit of giving in your child, and you'd like to teach them a little big about Christmas lore, "The Legend of St. Nicholas" by Dandi Daley Mackall is a great choice.

Prolific Christian children's book author Mackall offers up this tale not in her famous rhyme, but in straight prose. She begins by introducing us to an older boy named Nick, who is grumpily Christmas shopping with his father. Although he's supposed to be buying his brothers gifts, Nick finds himself mostly thinking about keeping enough of his gift money to buy himself a CD. Then Nick overhears the store Santa telling a story to some younger children.

The story is about a boy who lived long ago and was named Nicholas. He grew up with wealthy parents, but managed to still notice a lot of needy people in the world. When his parents died, Nicholas was unsure what to do with his life. He asked his friends what they'd do if they had a great deal of money. One boy told him he'd pay all the family bills, since his father was out of work. Another boy said he'd buy his mother a much needed coat. And a girl said she'd pay for her sisters' dowries, so they could marry.

That Christmas night, Nicholas heard the church bells and thought about the wise kings who brought gifts to baby Jesus. There's no better time to give gifts than on the celebration of Jesus' birth, he decided. He rushed out and threw coins through his friend's window, so his family's bills could be paid; he threw a beautiful coat through the window of another friend's house, so his mother could be properly clothed. He also attempted to throw dowry money through the window of his third friend's house, but the windows were locked. He looked heavenward, praying for God's guidance...and saw his friend's chimney...
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Format: Hardcover
In The Legend of St. Nicholas, a beautifully-illustrated picture book for kids in the four-to-eight range, young Nick comes to realize that Christmas is about more than amassing material possessions. On a last-minute shopping excursion with his father, Nick is drawn in by a store Santa's recounting of the Saint Nicholas legend. The other Nick's decision to dedicate his life to giving, rather than receiving, serves as a strong inspiration for our modern-day Nick, showing him the Christian meaning behind a religious holiday that many now experience only in a commercial, secular sense. It also uses Saint Nick's story-within-the-story to draw a clever connection between Santa Clause and Christ's birthday. My five-year-old loved this book, insisting that I give it five stars. I agree that this would make a great addition to your family's holiday book collection.

-Kevin Joseph (as reviewed for TCM Reviews)
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