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Silent Night, Holy Night: The Story Behind Our Favorite Christmas Carol (Traditions of Faith from Around the World) Hardcover – September 14, 2004
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2–When Grandpa Strasser comes from Germany to visit his grandchildren in Chicago, he tells them the story of how their family was involved in the creation of the famous Christmas carol. An Austrian pastor named Joseph Mohr wrote the poem, and his friend Franz Gruber set it to music. An organ repairman heard the song, memorized it, and played it at his church, where two singing families, the Rainiers and the Strassers, heard it and began singing it everywhere, helping to make it the popular carol it is today. The grandfather's telling of this tale, interrupted by quaint comments from his grandchildren, is long and not very interesting. The accompanying full-page illustrations glow with warm colors but the people in them look stiff and staged. There isn't much to appeal to children here.–E. M.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the Back Cover
This charming story begins when Grandpa Strasser tells his grandchildren the story of how the Strasser family helped make "Silent Night" one of the most famous Christmas songs in history. Originally written as a poem inspired by a tender scene of a mother and child and a pastors devotion to Jesus Christ, "Silent Night" has become a lasting traditional Christmas song celebrating Christs birth. Shortly after music was written for the poem, the Strasser family began singing the song all over Germany. They were even invited to sing it before the King of Prussia. Children of all ages will gain a new love for a traditional favorite in this book filled with beautiful illustrations by Guy Porfirio.
Through imaginative and innovative products, Zonderkidz is feeding young souls.
Myrna A. Strasser lives in East Moline, IL, and is a descendant of the "singing Strassers." She has been a full-time announcer at WDLM, a broadcast ministry of Moody Bible Institute, for the last 16 years. Before moving into radio, Myrna was a high school history and speech teacher for 20 years.
Guy Porfirio, a native of Chicago, graduated from the American Academy of Art in Chicago and continued his training at New Yorks School of Visual Arts. Guys passion for painting and telling a good story has inspired him to illustrate numerous books for children. Among Porfirio's published works are Papa's Gift, by Zonderkidz; Clear Moon, Snow Soon, by Rising Moon Press; and The Day I Could Fly, by Creative Publishing. Guy lives in Tucson, AZ, with his family.
Top customer reviews
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Franz Gruber wrote about composing the carol so the facts were available to Strasser. I won't go through the entire tale pointing up each error in her book but will point out that the misinformation provided by the author even caused some illustrations to be inaccurate.
One illustration shows Franz Gruber walking up the aisle of the church, playing his guitar, surprising Joseph Mohr with the new carol.
It wasn't a surprise. We have Franz Gruber's handwritten testimony (from December 30, 1854 ) that Fr. Mohr asked him to set his 1816 poem to music on Dec. 24, 1818. The guitar was Fr. Mohr's and he played it while Gruber sang along at the Christmas service.
Another reviewer states, "I never knew the story of the song." Unfortunately that reviewer still doesn't know the story of the song.
Guy Porfirio's illustration of the town of Oberndorf on the Salzach River is magnificent.
Myrna Strasser owes her ancestors a better book.
I recommend this book not only for children but for adults as well. I have purchased this book as a Christmas gift for each of my sibling's families. They have all read this book with their families and they plan on reading this book as a new tradition each year at Christmas time.
Myrna Strasser has written what is sure to become a Christmas classic. This is the type of book that our generation will be able to pass down for generations to come.
With a well-researched story and beautiful artwork, Silent Night, Holy Night is a book that is sure to bring families closer in the true meaning of Christmas (one that doesn't involve Santa, reindeer or pink elephants).
Introduce your family to the real story of Silent Night this year. I can say my whole family has really been blessed by it. This is a must read!