From the creators of the popular children's books God Gave Us You and God Gave Us Two comes God Gave Us Christmas, told from the point of view of a family of polar bears.
In this book, Little Cub asks her Mama who invented Christmas. "Was it Santa?" she asks. "No," says Mama bear, "God invented Christmas. God gave us Christmas." "Is God more important than Santa?" asks Little Cub. "Oh yes, much more important!" Mama replies. When Little Cub asks if they can go find Santa, because he must live around their parts, Mama Bear suggests they could go find God instead, because "God is everywhere."
So Little Cub and Mama Bear leave the rest of the family behind, and go out into the cold, snowy landscape to find God and see how he gave everybody Christmas. They end up camping that night, and Mama Bear wakes up Little Cub saying she's found God. She points, showing Little Cub the Northern Lights. "That is God at work," Mama Bear says. "He sent his only Son as a baby so that we could know light from dark. Jesus is the light of the world. Jesus is how God gave us Christmas." Later, they see a huge chunk of ice fall off a glacier. That's God's work, too, Mama Bear says. God can command the waters to freeze and the glacier to melt." Then they see a bright star, and Mama Bear says that's God at work again. "Jesus is called the bright Morning Star," Mama Bear says. "He is always with us. And he first came when God gave us Christmas."
Little Cub asks where Santa fits in, and Mama says that Santa reminds us of some good things, like being generous, but it's God and Jesus we're really celebrating on Christmas. She also explains why Jesus is the best present ever, and how God sent Jesus for everyone, "grumpy or happy, mean or kind. God gave us all Christmas."
What I Like: Author Lisa Tawn Bergen does a lovely job of making this a believable story, complete with inquiring young child and wise Mama. Nothing about the text feels forced or preachy. David Hohn's illustrations are great, as usual, with lovable, chubby polar bears in a cozy house baking gingerbread men, wrestling with their daddy, putting up Christmas ornaments, and enjoying the beauty of nature.
What I Dislike: Nothing. This is an excellent addition to every family's Christmas book collection
Overall Rating: Excellent.
Age Appeal: 4 - 8.
Publishing Info: WaterBrook Press, 2006; ISBN: 1400071755 ; hard back, $9.99.