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Silent Night is one of my favorite Christmas carols, and I'm sure many Christmas music lovers would say the same thing. As a kid, I watched a movie called "Silent Mouse," which told the story of Silent Night, while focusing on the mouse that supposedly chewed a hole in the organ bellows. I remember one particular character in the movie was quite upset that a guitar was used in church instead of the organ, but I have no idea whether that tidbit was made up for the movie or not.

Either way, Silent Night: A Christmas Carol Is Born tells the story of how the carol came to be (without making mention of any anti-guitar crusaders). It happened in a small town in Austria in 1818, and it was Father Joseph Mohr and Franz Gruber who composed the words and melody of the song that would become one of the most loved Christmas carols of the next 200 years.

This book walks us through the disappointment at the loss of the organ and details the imagined conversations between the two men who got together to bring a special song to their congregation that Christmas Eve. While the story is not highly dramatic, I very much enjoyed it, and found it poignant and evocative of the quiet contemplative nature of the carol. What would it have been like to be there on that night to hear its first performance?

The book includes the first verse of Silent Night (as well as musical notation) at the appropriate point in the story. There is also an author's note with a few more details about the people and place surrounding the carol's birth.

Scrounged From: Our local library

Format: Hardcover
Author: Maureen Brett Hooper
Illustrator: Kasi Kubiak
Pages: 32
Content Advisory: None

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