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Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

It’s DECEMBER – “Christmas is coming, my hips are getting fat, please to put a dollar in this lady’s hat.”  Oh- excuse me,   I’m a on a bit of a sugar high – I’ve already overindulged in Christmas peeps  (I’m addicted).  I bought some for the kids at church last night.  I got an extra package in case we had extra kids—we didn’t  – so I ate them…..I also had a beautifully decorated sugar cookie with my lunch and finished up some chocolate candy from a specialty shop in Frankenmuth, Mi.  But it was all medicinal–  I’ve been working on the children’s Christmas program which  is in 11 days and we only have 2 rehearsals left  (we need about 10 more).

But-seriously- I’m o-k!  The peace of Christmas has not eluded me – because the  Prince of Peace resides within me.  And the children’s program always blesses us despite, and sometimes because of, the imperfections.  So I’ll be fine– once this buzzing in my head stops.

Anyway – as part of Perfect Picture Book Friday, created by Susanna Hill,  this week I wanted to recommend a beautiful  Christmas book told from a little different viewpoint.

Title:     The Very First Christmas   

Author:   Paul Maier

Illustrator:   Francisco Ordaz

Publisher: Concordia Publishing:  1998

Audience Age: 5 years and up.  (Although I’m sure younger children would enjoy a shortened version and  the beautiful pictures.)

Themes/Topics: Holidays-Christmas

Opening Sentences: “Chris wanted to know everything about everything.  At school his teachers sometimes called him ‘Christopher Question Mark’ because he was always raising his hand in class to ask for more information.”

Synopsis:  An 8 year old boy insists on ‘no more fairy tale stories,’ so at Christmas his  mother tells him the true, miraculous account of the Christmas story, based on scripture and historical facts.

Why I like it:  My attention was first drawn by the beautiful illustrations by Francisco Ordaz.  The images seem to breathe and are so wonderfully drawn with glowing light and detail.  The book is written by an historical scholar, but is not at all a dry account.  The setting is in modern day,  told as  a warm, realistic  conversation between mother and son at bedtime.   The child’s questions prompt his mother to  explain the miraculous, true story backed up by historical facts from the time of the birth of Jesus.    The answers to How old was Mary?, Why were the shepherds afraid?, Who was Jesus’ real father?  and Why was Jesus born in a stable? are all addressed as well as others.

Awards: Gold Medallion Award

Activities/Resources:  Nativity Coloring Pages & stories,  Ideas for kid’s handmade nativities (one made out of candy).

Availability: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Concordia Publishing (hardcover, paperback and even an abridged board book)

Later this month:   Dewey’s Christmas at the Library and Birthdays around the World.

Blessings to you all and happy reading!

Laura (Grandmamiller)

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