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)

Monday, January 15, 2018

Back in Print: Sweet Picture Book Adapted from a Winter Tale by Leo Tolstoy

Martin the Cobbler. I'll never forget the first time I read Leo Tolstoy's poignant short story "Where Love Is, God Is", in an anthology of Russian literature that my mom had passed along to me.

A few years later, I was super excited when my sister discovered a wonderful picture book adaptation for kids ages 4-8, titled Shoemaker Martin.  But sadly it was out of print, and we could only find used paperback copies from an online store.

Then a couple of weeks ago, my sister informed me that it is now back in print - in hardcover! Available online and in bookstores.  Hurray!  

First published in 1986, Shoemaker Martin has been re-designed in celebration of 50 years of NorthSouth Books working with Bernadette Watts, one of Europe’s most recognized and beloved fairy-tale artists. This story is sure to win over new fans as well excite old ones!

It's a tale about a cobbler named Martin, who lives and works in a basement room in a small Russian village. 

One winter evening, while reading his Bible, Martin wonders what he would say and do if he were visited by Christ. Woken suddenly in the middle of the night, he hears a voice call his name.  The voice tells him to watch for Him...tomorrow!  

In the morning, Martin looks excitedly out his window - eagerly awaiting the visit of this special stranger.  But by sundown, Martin is disappointed.  He has only been visited by three people in need from his village.

Opening his Bible once again, and reading a scripture from a page that it had fallen opened to, he realizes Jesus truly had visited him that day.

This story of compassion by Tolstoy is as relevant today as when it was first conceived.  Bernadette Watt's warm and cozy illustrations portray the quiet simplicity of Martin's Russian Orthodox faith, through details like a hand carved cross on the wall of his basement room and an icon above his bed.

"For I was hungered, and ye gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in.
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto Me."
- from the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 25

1 comment:

  1. Ohhhh! Im so excited to see this! I LOVE Bernadette Watts....her book Verenka is one of my favorites, the art is also so lovely and Orthodox. I cant wait to see this one in person and look through it!