Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

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

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

Carmen Agra Deedy
Illustrator:  Henri Sorensen 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Peachtree, 2000   ISBN: 978-1561452088

Before the Germans came all the people in Denmark were just Danes. They were not categorized or separated into groups; they were one people. But there came a time when Germany sent soldiers to occupy Denmark. Life became difficult and then it became dangerous. It was especially dangerous for the Danish Jews for Hitler wanted to rid the world of all Jews.

King Christian X was determined that some way had to be found to protect the Jewish citizens in his country. When the Germans said that all Jews would have to start wearing a yellow star to identify them the king was horrified. He feared that the Germans would start rounding up and taking away the Jews if the people started to wear the yellow stars on their clothes. Then the king had an inspiration and he set about putting his idea into place. Surely his idea would make it much harder for the Germans to carry out their plan.

Though this story appears to be a legend and is not based on real events, there is no doubt that the Danish people went to great efforts to save the Jewish people who lived among them. They hid whole families in their homes and at their places of work, and they found ingenious ways to smuggle the Jewish Danes out of Denmark and to safety in Sweden and other countries. This story therefore is a symbol of the courage of the Danish people and it is a tribute to them and all the suffering that they had to endure because of their actions. Simply written and illustrated it is a powerful tale of hope and courage.

This book won the Parent?s Choice Gold Medal and the Christopher Award.