Jonah Winter and his illustrator Mom create a hauntingly beautiful world

August 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

The Secret World of Hildegard 
Jonah Winter author and Jeanette Winter illustrator
Arthur A Levine books an imprint of Scholastic
557 Broadway
NY NY 10012
Growing up in the middle ages meant girls had very limited opportunities. The author uses the color gray to describe these times.
Hildegard from her earliest memories saw a bright world with flames and stars inside her head.
I like the repeated line of poetry to describe how it felt to be her.
(even printed in gray)
“And there was grayness
and silence and sorrow,
though a light shone brightly inside her.”
Headaches were a frequent problem. Her parents took her to a monastery to live with the sisters.
One sister, Jutta was her constant companion and she taught Hildegard many things.
After Jutta’s death, Hildegard left their room and the other sisters elected her mistress.
The headaches still haunted her but she kept them and the visions a secret.
One night she heard God speaking to her and telling her to tell others what she had seen.
She started to tell others what she had seen.
As she shared her visions the headaches went away! She wrote hymns and she wrote books-one on animals and the other on medicines. The King and the pope even listened to her.
She had been true to what she had seen and she shared it with others.
The author focused on the visions when telling her story.
He believes that “were it not for Hildegard’s mystical visions (as recorded in her books, Know the Ways of God, The Book of Life’s Merits and The Book of Divine Works) and her courage to reveal them to the world, neither her musical nor scientific creations would have had the chance to blossom”.


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