Friday, February 6, 2015

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 293


Picture Book: The Yellow Star:                                                The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark

Author: Carmen Agra Deedy

Illustrator: Henri Sorensen
Summary: Before and during World War II, Nazis used the Star of David to segregate and alienate the Jews. As Germany conquered other countries, these terrible policies crossed borders too. Legend has it that Denmark's beloved King Christian the 10th, who was committed to keeping all Danes safe, defied the Nazis. First he ordered that the Nazi flag, which had replaced the Danish flag above the palace, be brought down. When he was told that a repeat of this act would result in the execution of the one who took down the flag, he proclaimed that he would be the one to do so. The Nazi flag did not fly over the palace again. Likewise, when the decree came from Germany that all Jews in Denmark must wear a yellow star, King Christian defied this requirement by wearing a star himself as he paraded through Danish streets each morning. This act of benevolence encouraged all Danish citizens to wear a yellow star. Many did. For a while, the Jews of Denmark were not easily singled out.
Hanna’s Comments: Carmen Deedy beautifully tells this complicated story of a king’s determination to protect all of his people. The response of the non-Jewish Danes is inspiring. There is much in this story that can resonate for those in faith communities who are looking for historical inspiration to encourage biblical values of non-violent acts of social justice and protection of those who are most vulnerable.     
Original Publisher & Date: Peachtree Publishers, 2000
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 6 and up, 1st and up
# of Pages: 32
Available in Spanish? Not at present
Formats other than Book: There is a short trailer for this book on Youtube.com that shows photographs of King Christian. Note: There are other short videos about a book titled Yellow Star but it is about a young girl in Poland.

PBT Category: Non-fiction
PBT Topics this Book connects with: abuse/abuse of power, belonging, bonds/connections, bravery/courage, bullying/martyrs/persecution/oppression, call/calling/vocation, challenges, citizenship, commitment, communication, community, conflict, conformity, danger, discord, disobedience/obedience, Europe, evil, exclusion/inclusion, God’s nature, heroes, identity/names, intercession, leadership/servant leadership, legends/myths, non-violence/peaceful resistance, power, protecting/protection, rebellion, religious differences, resisting evil, risking, unity, wisdom
Scripture Connections: Greater love has no one than this, that you lay down your life for friends (John 15:13); I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:1-2); whatever is true, honorable, just… if there is any excellence and anything worthy of praise, think on these. (Philippians 4:8)
Idea(s) for Application: Consider reading this book to a group of children learning about modern heroes who face evil because of injustices to those who are oppressed.