Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Friday, March 7, 2014

A New Retelling of an Ancient Legend, Just in Time for Lent (and Easter!)

As the first week of Lent draws to a close, I'd like to recommend a beautiful picture book that your child will want to read with you again and again during this holy season leading up to Easter.  It's the most recent collaboration of author Dr. Chrissi Hart and artist Niko ChocheliThe Legend of the Cross.

"Legend of the Cross" by Chrissi Hart
Niko Chocheli's stunning artwork brings a sense of majestic wonder to Chrissi Hart's poignant and heartfelt recounting of this medieval legend that traces the history of the special tree that would become the Cross of Christ.

From the Garden of Eden to Golgotha: the myth retold for young audiences...
You and your child will be transported as you follow the tree's wondrous and mythical journey in this beautifully crafted tale - from its origin as three seeds brought from Paradise and buried in Adam's grave, the tree grows tall and survives the Great Flood; gives shade to King David; is cut down by King Solomon; is forgotten and left at the bottom of a deep pit that miraculously becomes the Pool of Bethesda; floats to the surface many years later and is taken to its final holy destination on the hill of Golgotha, where the "Hope of the world" hangs upon it - the tree mystically participates in bringing man back to a New Paradise.

I think this mesmerizing book will bless all who read it for generations to come, and I hope you will add it to your child's Lenten bookshelf (or to his or her Easter basket!)  Just like the tree, we are on a journey to Golgotha during Lent.  And The Legend of the Cross points us toward our destination - the hope of the Resurrection! 
So let us rediscover Lent. A journey, a pilgrimage! Yet, as we begin it, as we make the first step into the “bright sadness” of Lent, we see—far, far away—the destination. It is the joy of Easter, it is the entrance into the glory of the Kingdom. And it is this vision, the foretaste of Easter, that makes Lent’s sadness bright and our Lenten effort a “spiritual spring.” The night may be dark and long, but all along the way a mysterious and radiant dawn seems to shine on the horizon. 
–Fr. Alexander Schmemann

Dr. Chrissi Hart is a Child Psychologist, author, and podcaster.  Born in Cyprus, Dr. Hart grew up in England from age three and writes stories for children from her cultural heritage that are inspiring and spiritually satisfying. 

Niko Chocheli, a native of the Republic of Georgia, is so highly regarded as an artist that, in 1997, he was granted permanent resident status by the U.S. government because of his "extraordinary ability in the arts." It's a recognition shared by the likes of cellist Yo-Yo Ma.


  1. Thank you Wendy, for your kind and touching review. I hope my new book will be a blessing for children everywhere during this Lenten season, as we all follow that narrow path back to the garden of Paradise!

  2. You're very welcome, Chrissi. I know the books will bless children AND their parents as well!