March 7, 2007

The Race of the Birkebeiners by Lise Lunge-Larsen

The year: 1206. The place: Norway. The evil Baglers have taken over the kingdom, and the only hope for Norway's future is to help the infant prince Hakon escape the Bagler soldiers. The brave Birkebeiners, loyal to their dead king and to their country, were the only ones who could help. Over three days, a small band of Birkebeiners carried the prince over Norway's most treacherous mountains through incredibly deep snow and the harshest storms, fighting to save the 8-pound prince. Did they make it? I'm afraid you'll have to read the book yourself to answer that question.

This picture book for older readers was beautifully illustrated by Mary Azarian, who also lent her woodblock artistry to the book Snowflake Bentley. The book will appeal to lovers of history, winter, cross-country skiing, and picture books with amazing images.