cover image The Legend of the Christmas Rose

The Legend of the Christmas Rose

William H. Hooks. HarperCollins Publishers, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-027102-2

Hooks (The Ballad of Belle Dorcas) invites readers into the home of a humble family of shepherds in this unusual holiday/horticultural legend. When Dorothy clandestinely follows her much-older brothers to Bethlehem to greet the Christ Child, she worries that she has no gift worthy of the babe. An angel calms Dorothy's anxiety, pointing her to beautiful white flowers growing miraculously nearby. Jesus' hand touches Dorothy's offering of blossoms, tinting them with a blush of pink; the flowers are forever known as Christmas roses. Lyrical descriptions, reverent but always personable, and unusually warm, dynamic oil portraits make this a wonderful choice for family sharing. Ages 5-9. (Oct.)