Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Heavenly Peace: Silent Night by Lara Hawthorne

Silent Night, Holy Night...

The simple story of the beloved Christmas carol tells of the pastor of a small Austrian church who finds his organ disabled by a nibbling mouse the day before the Christmas Eve service. Pastor Mohr quickly composes a simple song that could be sung by his congregation to the single accompaniment of his friend Franz Gruber's guitar, and the rest is history.

That song, "Silent Night," became a Christmas classic and is the sole text of Lara Hawthorne's new addition to the publisher's Christmas Choir series, Silent Night (Quarto/Lincoln Books, 2018).

Artist Hawthorne's gentle faux-naif illustrations are done in pale pastels done in gouache and set against a flat black sky in which the Star of Bethlehem sheds its light. Into that lovely scene the holy family passes through the land to the stable in the city, waited upon by its animals, as the shepherds are visited by a heavenly host of angels and, like the three kings from the east, all led by the Star, to the stable. The story passes like a Christmas pageant, moving from left to right through the landscape of the book, widening at last to a view of the quaintly pictured town of Bethlehem, directed by the words of the beloved carol.

Author Hawthorne includes an appendix, a history of the song, "About the Carol," and the complete lyrics to the song.

"Stunning illustrations bring new life to a well-loved Christmas carol," says Kirkus Reviews.



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