Silent Night: The Song from Heaven

by Linda Granfield, Nelly Hofer, and Ernst Hofer

On December 24, 1818, young Hans and Maria hurry through the winter streets of Oberndorf,... read more

On December 24, 1818, young Hans and Maria hurry through the winter streets of Oberndorf, Austria, to join other villagers in assembling the Christmas crèche in the Church of St. Nicola. On this night Father Josef Mohr was to ask organist Frans Gruber to compose music for verses he wrote earlier that day. On this night - according to tradition - the carol "Stille Nacht" was first sung because the organ was broken. An unusual book about the familiar hymn provides several levels of information about the history of "Silent Night." The gold and black visual elements on every page are reproductions of the Hofer's scherenschnitte or scissor-cut silhouette pictures of the assemblage of the crèche ; scherenschnitte is explained later as an art developed centuries earlier in China. The last page contains two verses of "Silent Night" in English and in German. (Age 7-adult)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1997

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