There are lots of books telling the biblical Christmas story, but My Merry Christmas by Sally Lloyd Jones, has several unique qualities.
The first thing you'll notice (and which will capture your child's avid interest) is that the book is glittery. Every single page has tiny sparkles highlighting it. It's also a die-cut board book, with many layers. The text is in kid-friendly rhyme and begins:
"What is Christmas? Do you know?Then comes the really good part. Each page lists a common element of Christmas, and explains its spiritual meaning. On one side of the page, you'll see a picture of the biblical Christmas, while on the other side, you'll see a modern family celebrating Christmas in the usual way. For example, the first thing the author brings up is "light." Joseph is shown carrying a light while a pregnant Mary rides a donkey. The modern scene shows a family stringing lights onto a Christmas tree. The text tells us light symbolizes that Jesus is "a light for us."
Gifts and food and lots of snow?
Twinkling lights and Christmas tree?
Angels, stars, and family?
Yes, all of that and even more!
So, what is Christmas really for?"
"...and so we say,The author also explains about angels on top of the tree (which remind us angels sang the night Jesus was born); Christmas trees (which are evergreen and therefore symbolize everlasting life); a star atop the tree (which reminds us of the star the wise men followed); and gifts (which remind us that "God loves you and me").
'This Christmastime and every day
Light our path, dear Lord, we pray.'"
What I Like: I love the illustrations, which show the true Christmas story alongside our modern celebration of those events. I also really like how the author explains basic Christmas symbolism in a kid-friendly way. This is currently my two year old's favorite Christmas book. She loves the glitter and die-cut holes, and I'm sure she's absorbing the good spiritual stuff, too.
What I Dislike: Nothing.
Overall Rating: Very Good.
Age Appeal: According to the publisher, 3 to 6, but younger children will enjoy it, too.
Publishing Info: Clearwater, 2003; ISBN: 0784714495; board book, $11.99.
Buy Now at Christianbook.com for $9.99.
Or buy at Amazon.com for $10.16