Cover image for The legend of Saint Nicholas
The legend of Saint Nicholas
Grün, Anselm., author.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Legende vom Heiligen Nikolaus. English
Publication Information:
Grand Rapids, Michigan : Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, [2014].
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
An introduction to the saint who is the inspiration for giving.
General Note:
Translation of: Die Legende vom Heiligen Nikolaus.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BR1720.N46 G7813 2014 Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday

On Order



A beautiful retelling of the life of Saint Nicholas

Many stories are told about Saint Nicholas -- stories about his generosity and his miracles, stories about the concern he showed for those in poverty. This warm, inviting books tells many of these stories, both familiar and lesser-known. It recounts how he ended a famine by multiplying grain from a merchant ship and how he walked on water to rescue sailors from a terrible storm. And, of course, it tells the story of how Nicholas gave his inheritance to prevent a desperate man from selling his daughters into slavery.

Anselm Grun's simple, graceful text and Giuliano Ferri's beautiful paintings combine to provide the perfect way to introduce young readers to the rich life of this beloved saint.

Author Notes

Anselm Grun is a Benedictine monk who has written approximately 300 books that have been translated into 30 different languages. He is considered around the world to be an important spiritual writer. He lives in Germany.

Giuliano Ferri has illustrated over thirty-five children's books, published both internationally and in the U.S. His most recent titles include  Peace on Earth: Poems and Prayers for Peace  (Lion Hudson) and  Ant and Grasshopper  (Margaret K. McElderry). Giuliano lives in Italy.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This handsome picture book introduces the life and legends of Saint Nicholas. Translated from the German, the narrative presents Nicholas as a priest and a bishop who was beloved because he helped those in need. Grun retells several traditional stories related to Nicholas' faith, his miracles, and his actions to save his people, such as women about to be sold into slavery and sailors calling out to him during a storm at sea. In one miracle story, he asks a ship's captain for grain to feed his starving people. The captain reluctantly agrees and later finds that although he gave a portion away, his store of grain was not diminished. The simply written, effective text ends with the enduring European tradition of celebrating Saint Nicholas Day with gifts for children. Similar in format to Grun and Ferri's Jesus (2014), the book features large, luminous pictures with harmonious colors, textures, and compositions. A fine introduction to the patron saint of children.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Grün, a Benedictine monk, employs a gentle, confident voice to narrate the biography and stories of several miracles performed by this well-known saint. With a vast inheritance from his family, Nicholas was able to offer assistance-first as a priest, then as a bishop-to those in need (largely in anonymity, as he preferred). His dramatic rescue of a storm-tossed ship, performed by walking on water to the vessel, earned him the designation of patron saint to sailors. Though the global tradition of celebrating St. Nicholas Day is mentioned, readers are left to make their own inferences about how Nicholas has become so closely linked with Christmas. Ferri's (Jonah's Whale) paintings provide evocative vistas of an ancient seaside village, and a closing scene of a snow-covered cottage and Nicholas in a red robe adds a dash of holiday flavor. Ages 4-8. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-This picture book recounts the life and miracles of Bishop Nicholas of Myra, born of wealthy parents and who became a priest and ultimately a saint. Known for his generous spirit, especially toward children in need, he was loved throughout his lifetime for his piousness and many acts of kindness. In Germany and many other countries, he is celebrated with a feast on December 6, when children receive gifts and sing a joyous song. No mention of Santa Claus or Christmas is made. Illustrations are soft pastels, warm and pleasant but somewhat static. Similarly, the text is simple and lacking in depth. A similar biography with better explanatory text and more eye-catching artwork is Ann Tompert's Saint Nicholas (Boyds Mills, 2000).-Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.