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The Basket of Flowers: A Tale for the Young Review by Adrienne Falkena

Christoph von Schmid
Translated from German and rewritten by Mark Hamby
Lamplighter Publishing
Lamplighter Ministries International
23 State St.
Mount Morris, NY 14510

The original tale of the king’s gardener, James, and his15-year-old daughter Mary was published in German in 1823 by Christoph von Schmid. The Basket of Flowers has been translated into English and has now been rewritten by Mark Hamby. Lamplighter Publishing now offers this 234-page hardcover collector’s format for $20.

Mary loses her mother at a young age and has been brought up by her father James. James is a wise and godly man who has taught Mary much about her Creator and King and what He requires of her, using flowers from his work as a gardener as an example often. Mary befriends Countess Amelia, who then gifts Mary with her clothing as she outgrows them. Juliette, lady’s maid to Amelia, becomes jealous and accuses Mary of stealing a ring from Amelia’s mother. Mary is taken to prison, beaten, and accused falsely. The story chronicles Mary’s struggles as she chooses to do right things in spite of her trials.

Recommended for ages 9-14, The Basket of Flowers was ideal for my 12-year-old. She read it quickly and enjoyed it very much. She found Mary to be perfect, responding with godliness and holiness at each trial that she had to endure. While this might be hard to imagine, since we’re all sinful and short of God’s glory, it was an encouraging tale that modeled making correct choices very well. When Mary was instructed to merely admit to something she had not done to receive no punishment, Mary would not agree. She had been taught from her father that it is better to die for truth than to live for a lie, and she was devout in her faith and desire to do what is right. She strives to live as the lily, white with innocence, and the violet, humble in its beauty.

My daughter is happy to recommend The Basket of Flowers, though she thinks she might be the oldest age that would appreciate the tale. She suggests ages 9-11 or so. The Basket of Flowers is a quality tale I’m glad to have to put into the hands of an eager reader. I know she’s not merely passing the time and filling her head with nothing of importance, but rather a lesson in humility, purity of heart, and pursuing the truth with endurance.

-Product review by Adrienne Falkena, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2017