Lacking both the crisp style and substance of Demi's thorough introduction to the saint (see above), Stiegemeyer's (Thanksgiving, noted above) effort oversimplifies its subject. Here the author narrows the biographical focus to one of Nicholas's legendary good deeds (he secretly leaves money for a needy local family). Much of the text whips up an overly excited, teacherly tone ("However, God is even more generous and loving still!") and the most solid information is contained in an author's note that begins "Dear Grown-up." The white-bearded Nicholas's face, caught in moments of compassion and reverence, dominates many of Ellison's (King of the Stable) realistic and technically proficient paintings. Ages 5-up. (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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