Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Books: The Good and the Beautiful

In my never-ending quest to find wonderful picture books to show/read to my littles, I finally bowed to all the wonderful reviews and requested the Sibylle vonOlfers books:

These are GOOD, BEAUTIFUL books! They tell the story of Mother Nature and her children ... how seasons affect the root children and their growth, how the wind children can be wonderful playmates and how the beautiful, dancing snow children make a snowy day wonderful!

There books, of course, are fairy tales -- altho the "fairies" in this case are children, Mother Nature's children. But the beauty of the illustration, love of nature and the gentle way of explaining nature, seasons and God's creation to little ones shines through all three books.

I thought I'd do a bit of investigating on just who was this Sibylle vonOlfers (and translated here). It turns out that she was born in Germany in 1881. Her father was a nature writer and researched and her parents encouraged her artistic talent at a young age.

At the age of 24, she joined the Sisters of St. Elisabeth (of Hungary), following in the footsteps of one of her sisters who had joined the Convent earlier. Sr. Maria Aloysia (her professed name) worked almost 10 years writing and illustrating lovely books for children as well as teaching in the Catholic school run by this Germanic order of Sisters.

At 35, this artistic Catholic sister died of lung disease (a disease she'd fought off and on for years).


Meredith said...

I've always loved The Root Children, but I had no idea that the author was also a sister. Neat!

~cactus mouse~ said...

Oh, I love the Root Children book! It is a favorite around here. I had no idea about the author's personal life - I'm glad you shared that.

Alice Gunther said...

Fascinating history--I never knew that!

Thanks for the reviews.