“The Christmas Wish was launched in September this year. It reached 5th place in the New York Times bestseller list before it was sold out. Behind the success is a Norwegian emigrant and his American family.
– The publisher produced ten times more than he usually does with this kind of books, but now it is sold out everywhere, says Per Breiehagen.
The emigrated Norwegian is the person behind all the images that have been edited and animated in the popular Christmas book. Twenty five years ago he moved to Minnesota to study, but stayed after he met Lori Evert. It is she who is the lyricist, while their daughter Anja (9) is the model.
Amazon.com writes in the review:
In the tradition of The Snowman, The Polar Express, and the many books of Jan Brett this cozy Nordic tale filled with extraordinary photographs will have readers of all ages believing in the magic of Christmas. This is one to pull out every year and savor.
Long ago, a brave little girl named Anja wanted to be one of Santa’s elves. So she leaves a note for her family and helps her elderly neighbor prepare for the holiday, then she straps on her skis, and heads out into the snowy landscape. From a red bird to a polar bear to a reindeer, a menagerie of winter animals help Anja make her way to Santa. A generous trim-size, matte cover, and foiled title make this a special book for the holiday season.
Red dress from Ål in Hallingdal
It all started five years ago when the family was visiting Ål in Hallingdal. Per’s sister went through a closet and found some old clothes.
– We dressed Anja in a red traditional dress, a blue sweater and a Santa hat standing straight up. She went out into the snow, and it was just like she came out of a Norwegian fairy tale.
Breiehagen has won several awards as a nature photographer, and his photographs have been published in National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine and Fortune.
No Time to Go Home
The family behind the book: Per Breiehagen, Lori Evert and Anja.
Usually, the family celebrates Christmas in Norway, but this year they stay in the United States.
– There is so much to do right now that we do not have the time to go home. But it is in Ål there is really Christmas, says Breiehagen.
Next year the family will go back to Norway to get inspiration for the sequel to “The Christmas Wish” that will be published in 2015.
Text modified by: Thor Lanesskog, ThorNews
Photos from «The Christmas Wish» by: Per Breiehagen, family photo by: Juritzen Forlag, Norway