by Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire
Considered by some children's book authorities to be the d'Aulaire's finest work, this biography of Leif Erickson, son of Eric the Red, best exemplifies the artist's skill in Norwegian folk art, style, and history. Their well-researched text is lavishly illustrated with Viking rune-like carvings, from the dragon prow of the ship that Leif must hurry to remove, lest it anger the spirits of the land, to the stave churches so unique to Norway. Landscapes depict emerald green fjords against floes of ice and mountains of snow. The grand halls of King Olav Trygvason are ornamented with carvings of Nordic mythical creatures while tame polar bear cubs romp and play. In this setting the young Leif grows to manhood and learns the skills of navigation, sailing his own ship when just a teen from Greenland to Norway. It is on his return journey that he discovers a new land—what we now know to be Newfoundland. Later he sends settlers there—actually establishing a colony. His tale is aptly and authentically told in the d'Aulaires's inimitable style.
About the Authors: After the publication of Ola in 1932, the work of Ingri and Edgar D'Aulaire has needed no introduction - their beautiful picture books have delighted countless children ever since. Ingri Mortenson and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire met in Munich where both were studying art in the 1920's. Ingri had grown up in Norway; Edgar, the son of a noted portrait painter, was born in Switzerland and had lived in Paris and Florence. Shortly after their marriage, they moved to the United States and began to create the picture books that have established their reputation for unique craftsmanship.