Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Just in, praise for my new children’s picture book released on December 4 by Xist Publishing!
In just two days, my new picture book, Tea with the Queen will be released by Xist Publishing! Delightfully illustrated by Stephen Macquignon, it will be available in paperback and ebook on amazon and Nook Kids with my audio recording, so if you like to listen to a British accent, there it is!
Here is the story in a nutshell: “When mice turn 100 years old (in mouse-years, of course) they get to visit the Queen of England. When Charlie journeys across the countryside for his grandmother’s visit, he discovers that even little creatures can have big adventures.”
The story was a product of a writing workshop led by my friend and writing mentor Judy Wolfman several years ago. Having selected an illustration from a pile of pictures, our writing assignment was to write a story about it. Write about what you know, is what is often encouraged at workshops and so I did and included British expressions and favorite landmarks. It was a fun story to write and unlike my other books, I wrote it in a few weeks and revised it a few years later in about the same time.
The main character is named after Charlie Carter-Bates, and the book is dedicated to him. Charlie lost his brave battle from a brain tumor in November 2010 when he was just 7 years old. Several months before, his Godfather Pierre, contacted me asking for prayers, after reading my first children’s book Under the Grapevine and the miraculous story about my grandmother’s healing through the intercessions of a beloved saint – Saint Kendeas of Cyprus.
Charlie’s parents launched a charity named Charlie Charges On in February 2014 to honor his memory and his love of rhinos and to raise awareness and funding for brain tumor research which is severely underfunded even though it is the biggest killer of children and young people under 40 years old than any other cancer.
On this Giving Tuesday, please visit www.charliechargeson and consider giving. Even a small amount will make a big difference.
The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. Pablo Picasso.
Earlier this year, I was privileged to read my new children’s book, The Legend of the Cross to children at the St. Emmelia Homeschooling Conference at the Antiochian Village in Bolivar, PA. While at the book-signing table with Niko Chocheli, illustrator for our book, I took the opportunity to interview him about his beautiful illustrations. The first letter on each page is illuminated in a medieval manuscript style. The blue heavenly color used throughout the book is in the style of Georgian enamel, known as cloisonné. The colors are those used by Titian, a Venetian painter who inspired Niko. Below is a page by page commentary which I hope readers will find useful:
The front cover of the book shows a lion, wearing a gold crown and a cross above a scroll. The lion is the lion of Judah, the symbol of Christ who was from the tribe of Judah. The lion may also be viewed as Aslan, from The Chronicles of Narnia which was based on the lion of Judah. The lion represents power and courage, while the crown shows the lion is king.
The dedication page shows King Solomon and a heavenly Jerusalem in the background.
P 3 Shows the triple branched tree made of cypress, pine, and cedar, with a skull at its base representing Adam’s skull.
P 4 In the darkness, behind Adam and Seth, there is a silhouette of a cross which implies the beginning of the journey of the cross.
P 5 The cross is the gateway to heaven, salvation and paradise. See Niko’s book, Prepare O Bethlehem:
“The gate of Eden is opened
Adam dances in exaltation.”
P6 Shows the Archangel Michael in his glory, with a cross motif behind and above him.
P7 The angel is holding Adam’s soul and the cross behind them is the entrance to heaven. The church is the rock and is depicted this way throughout the book.
“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” King James Bible.
P8 The earth is ruled by the cross. This is a Bolnuri cross, an ancient symbol from the early fifth century. Jerusalem is shown to the right. All symbols are prefiguring Christ’s birth.
P9 Noah’s ark contains a church on a rock, symbolizing our salvation.
P10 King David is composing his psalms under the shade of a tree with the lion of Judah at his feet.
P11 King Solomon and the woodcutter.
P12 The hippos express wealth and splendor of a great king.
P13 The large rock formation is famous in Ethiopia. The queen of Sheba travels from Ethiopa to Jerusalem, with the pyramids of Egypt in the background. An angel holding a cross is guiding them. The procession of animals and gifts represent the splendor of Africa.
P14 and 15 show the Queen of Sheba, with the church far away and in the horizon. Georgian crosses are painted behind her. She is riding a rhinoceros suggesting wealth and splendor.
P 16 The elephant kneels in respect and honor as it looks towards the church in the distance.
P17 The lions symbolize throne griffins inspired by the painting, The Judgement of Solomon, by French painter, Nicolas Poussin.
P18 The pelican is also symbolic of Christ who is also shown in the background on the cross, as a blue dreamlike vision. The pelican symbolizes sacrifice of Christ on the cross and the Eucharist.
P19 The illustration of the throne of Solomon was inspired by an ancient Georgian throne, in Tao Klarjeti, Turkey. The owl represents the wisdom of Solomon. The Queen of Sheba holds a cross one hand and the other hand touches the earth – suggesting the cross will rule the world.
P 20 Shows the wood being placed in a pit forming the pool of Bethesda with five porticoes.
P21 This illustration is shown from the perspective of the angel above over the pool of Bethesda. The lame man, his bed and crutches are shown on the letter F.
P 22 The shape of the cross and the bark of the wood are shown below in the letter T. The Theotokos is shown in the bottom right.
P23 The magi come on elephants to the newborn King. The triune symbol of the cross with the star is above the Theotokos and Christ child in the cave.
P 24 and 25 Show a close up of the wood of the cross in the pool.
P26 Jerusalem is behind the crucified Christ with the sun and moon. The skull of Adam is below the Cross and the blood of Christ renders Adam a new Adam.
P27 Shows the resurrection with Christ in His full glory! He is the Pantocrator and the Cross below is illuminated with gold colors overlooking a large, expansive landscape.
P 28 The angel flips pages of a book which is not yet finished.
Back cover – The country of Georgia commissioned The Monastery of the Cross in Jerusalem, which is represented in the top right corner. Shotav Rustavelin, a Georgian poet, dedicated an immortal poem to Queen Tamara of Georgia, and he is shown on the left. The hole below marks the spot where the holy tree is believed to have once grown, now behind the altar at the Monastery of the Cross.
Don’t miss a fabulous sale of the KINDLE version of The Legend of the Cross available on amazon for the great price of
99 cents! Reduced from $5.99
Enjoy the vibrant stunning illustrations by Niko Chocheli on the kindle version.
Hardcover and softcover are also available and are a wonderful gift for children of all ages to inspire and enrich them in their faith.
Discover the legend of the tree that would become the Cross of Christ. Grown from seeds gifted from the heavens, a magnificent tree participates in ancient history before becoming the crowning symbol of Christianity.
Don’t miss this complement to the story of Easter that is sure to become a Christian children’s classic.
Chronicles of Narnia fans will love the lion on the front cover – the lion of Judah, who represents Christ!
Please visit amazon to read the five star rated lovely reviews!
Here are the titles of those reviews:
A wonderful spiritual book for the family – Maria del Rey, publisher, Childgood magazine.
Beautiful story – Bradley Culbertson
A soul-piercing read - Molly Sabourin author of “Close to Home: One Orthodox Mother’s Quest for Patience, Peace and Perseverance.”
Beautiful and spiritual – Elaine Katsaros
Mesmerizing tale – Jane G Meyer, author of The Hidden Garden and other picture books.
The deeper magic – Jenny N. Schroedel, author of the Blackbird’s Nest and Reflections on Stillbirth.
A legend with a better than Fairytale ending. Adriane Evans, MS ed. and mother of 4
A magical journey – James R Early, author.
Touching mystery – Jodi and Dessi. Dessi Jackson is author of A Saint and His Bees.
The Legend of the Cross is available in kindle, hardcover and softcover.
To celebrate my birthday and the first day of spring, I am giving away a hardcover copy of The Legend of the Cross! Simply like my Facebook fan page, share, and leave a comment for three chances to win! Winner will be announced Monday March 24!
This touching review just added on amazon by Jody and Dessi Jackson, brought tears to my eyes. It is humbling to know that this new book is touching hearts and minds of children and adults alike!
As I sat there reading this book to my children I kept thinking how gifted the author is. The sweetness of the story, the delicious way the author uses words and the amazing illustrations will wrap around you and take you on an amazing journey. Traveling the paths among the first garden to the Cross you will be charmed. The story will draw you in and make you aware of far greater mysteries than the ones our eyes can see. After you are done snuggling up and reading this charming tale it will stay with you for the rest of your life, for once you see the beauty of God you can not remain the same. My children have been touched so beautifully once more by the author’s writings and they have been shown more beauty and loveliness, for that I am forever grateful. Bless yourself and the children (even older children) in your life. Reach out and order this sweet book and marvel at the mysteries of God!!!
Dessi Jackson is author of The Saint and His Bees and Saint Felix and The Spider.
I am thrilled to announce the release of my third children’s picture book, The Legend of the Cross illustrated by Niko Chocheli on February 2, 2014! From a seed of an idea back in 2007, it is now here……
The Legend of the Cross follows the journey of the tree that would become the Cross of Christ. From the Garden of Eden to Golgotha, this story retells The Golden Legend for young audiences. Grown from seeds gifted from the heavens, a magnificent and mystical tree participates in ancient history before becoming the crowning symbol of Christianity.
Here are several lovely endorsements so far:
Once again the team of Dr. Chrissi Hart and Niko Chocheli create a children’s book of deep significance and beauty. The legend of The Cross pages open as a royal treat of beauty for the eye, the storytelling inspires deeper meaning at various ages. Herein lies a rare opportunity for parent and child to ponder spiritual ideas together and speak of the miraculous, capturing a rare moment to bond spiritually with your child.
--Maria Del Rey, Publisher, ChildGood Magazine, The Journal for Creative Families.
Chrissi Hart and Niko Chocheli have taken a medieval legend about the Holy Cross and produced a lovely picture book that captures awe, miracles, amazement, and the scope of God’s eternal plan in a wonderful format for children and adults.
–Bev Cooke, author of Keeper of the Light and Royal Monastic.
Author Chrissi Hart and fine artist Niko Chocheli have produced a mesmerizing tale of the journey of the cross of Christ. From the Gates of Paradise and Adam’s grave the cross travels through the centuries and eventually finds a place here and now as a symbol of hope. Simply but lyrically told, children will be fascinated by this unique story. Older children will be especially entranced by the visual storytelling that comes to life through the artist’s masterful use of shape, line and color. As in his other illustrated books, Chocheli’s vivid and detailed art provides layers of meaning and discovery for readers of all ages.
–Jane G Meyer, editor, and author of several children’s books including The Man and the Vine, and The Hidden Garden.
The Legend of the Cross offers a glimpse into the secret life of the cross–a story of heartbreak, hope, and heaven. Three of Eden’s seeds sprout from Adam’s grave and grow into the tree that becomes the wood that tumbles through time into Solomon’s Temple, into the Pool at Bethesda and finally to Golgotha–to carry the hope of this world and to point to life in the next. If you wish to plant the seeds of hope in the heart of your child, read this book to them! The Legend of the Cross is cosmic and simple, gracefully written, enchantingly illustrated and sure to delight readers of all ages.
–Jenny Schroedel, author of The Blackbird’s Nest: St. Kevin of Ireland and Naming the Child: Hope-filled Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Death.
For those of us immersed in a culture of transient values and beliefs, it is such a blessing to have access to ancient Christian teachings and traditions. In her most recent children’s book, “The Legend of the Cross,” author Chrissi Hart awakens her readers, both young and old alike, to unearthly mystery and holiness through this 12th century story about the origin of the wood of the cross. Stunningly illustrated by Niko Chocheli, “The Legend of the Cross” provides a powerful opportunity for spiritual discussion and evokes wonder at God’s mystical sovereignty and omnipotence.
- Molly Sabourin, author of Close to Home: One Orthodox Mother’s Quest for Patience, Peace and Perseverance.
The Legend of the Cross is available from amazon, in hardback, paperback, kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook with audio!
2010 Chrissi Hart - All Rights Reserved (RSS) - Illustrations by Niko Chocheli