The Legend of St Nicholas


by Dandi Daley Mackall

The Legend of St. Nicholas

Just in time for early Christmas season planning the book “The Legend of St. Nicholas, A Story of Christmas Giving” arrived on my doorstep.  For many years we have added a book or two to our family library for the holiday season and I am delighted to have this beautiful addition to the collection.

This retelling of the St Nicholas legend is modernized, but told in a lovely gentle tone.  My first impression of the book was from the dust jacket.  The dust jacket is colorful and has wonderful texture.  A finger brushed across the title finds smooth raised letters and then glittery snow.

While I find it important to stick to a more historical retelling of St Nicholas, this book’s modern spin may help children associate better with the story, and be an additional encouragement.  It is challenging to help children think outside of themselves and sweet stories are often a great way to draw attention to the beauty of generosity.

Book Description

In The Legend of St. Nicholas, the new artwork, created by Marley and Me illustrator, Richard Cowdrey, captivates audiences and tells the story of a young man named Nicholas, who was moved by the plight of the poor and needy. Nicholas spent his life secretly helping the poor all over the world, giving gifts on Christmas Eve to remind people of the greatest Gift of all, Jesus Christ. This gentle Christmas book introduces the original St. Nicholas and offers inspiration for readers to become cheerful givers themselves. The final pages in the book include fun Father Christmas traditions in other lands.

About the Author

Dandi Daley Mackall is the author of over 400 books and still can’t believe she gets to write for a living, helping children of all ages grow spiritually. She and her husband, Joe, both write from rural Ohio, where they’re blessed with three children and a variety of horses, dogs, and cats.

About the Illustrator

Richard Cowdrey’s favorite things to draw and paint are the things that reflect the awesomeness of God and His creation. From vast landscapes to the littlest bug on a leaf, Richard marvels at the beauty in the details. Richard’s bestselling children’s books include Bad Dog, Marley and A Very Marley Christmas.

Thank you to BookLookBlogger network for the opportunity to receive and review this book.


Clothesline Busy Bags, Another Toddler Activity

Early in the month, in preparation for the busy bag swap that I hoped to have here on By Quiet Waters, I prepared a dozen clothesline busy bags.  I found the instructions and patterns here.

busy bags

Clothesline Busy Bags


These bags will be put to good use, as I’ll be participating in a swap with the ladies in my sister in law’s community.  They heard my idea and set up a swap for during our planned visit during our fall break road trip.

After that swap I’ll have more ideas to share here.  In the meantime, is anyone interested in participating in a swap in November?  With the idea that the swap could be completed and the bags used to keep busy hands busy during the full days of Christmas holiday preparations?

Sensory Activities for Toddlers – Scented Rice

Continuing on with ideas for sensory activities for toddlers I want to share an idea that I found on The Imagination Tree, Scented Rice for sensory play!

Sensory Play

Purple Lavender Rice

I found the idea for sensory rice in my email one day.  Anna blogs across the pond at The Imagination Tree and had posted about apple cinnamon scented sensory rice.    I was inspired!

The original directions were for the apple cinnamon scented sensory rice using a bag of rice, green food coloring, apple tea bags and powdered cinnamon.

My Variations are

Blueberry Rice

About 4 cups of bulk white rice

2 Celestial Seasonings Blueberry Tea bags

Blue food coloring

Sensory Activities

Blueberry Sensory Rice

and Peppermint Sensory Rice using 4 Cups bulk white rice, 2 Celestial Seasonings Peppermint Tea bags, a drop of peppermint essential oil and Red food coloring.

Sensory Play

Peppermint Sensory Rice

And lavender rice with purple food coloring and lavender essential oil

Sensory Play

Purple Lavender Rice


I mixed up each batch in a extra large bowl, then spread the scented rice out on a big cookie sheet to dry.  I left the sheets of scented rice on the counter over night, then funneled into quart  mason jars.  The rice smells wonderful, and doesn’t it look so pretty in the jars?

sensory play

jars of scented rice for sensory play

I am saving the the jars of rice for rainy/cold days as autumn progresses.

sensory activities

Have you made scented rice for sensory play?  What scents did you use?