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The White Dove Review by Melissa BataiChristoph Von Schmid
23 State Street
Mount Morris, NY 14510
The White Dove by Christoph von Schmid tells the story of a knight, Theobald, his wife, Cornelia, and their daughter, Agnes. Agnes rescues a dove that has been chased by a hawk, and she soon grows quite attached to her dove. Each day, the dove would fly out in the morning and then return to Agnes later in the day.
Sometime later, a widow, Rosalind of Hohenbourg, and her daughter, Emma, seek help from Theobald. When they leave, Agnes reluctantly gives Emma her dove because Emma had so enjoyed the dove. This act of kindness has significant implications later in the story when a group of bandits plan to rob and murder Theobald and his family.
This book, first written in 1825, was a surprisingly approachable, suspenseful story. At only 75 pages, it is also a fairly quick read for older children or adults. This book is recommended for ages 6 to 11 and would be suitable for homeschoolers and traditional school students alike. This book gracefully teaches morals and virtues within the framework of a good story.
I read this book aloud to my daughters, ages 8 and 6.5. I was worried that they might not understand the story since it was written nearly 200 years ago, but they were engaged and asked me to continue reading. There were some words that they were not familiar with such as “affliction,” “covetous,” and “pilgrims,” but that did not impede their understanding. They simply asked what the words meant, and then we moved on with the story.
This is an excellent story, but for some young, sensitive readers, you may want to proceed with caution. There is quite a bit of detail given about the planned murders of Theobald and his family, which might scare some younger children.
If you are looking for good, quality books that teach morals and virtues, this is an excellent title to enjoy.
-Product review by Melissa Batai, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April, 2017