Gigi cannot wait for Christmas to come! She knows she is getting a big gift and the anticipation is killing her. This must be the year she finally receives her royal tiara with jewels befitting the princess she knows she is. Finally, five days before Christmas, she convinces her parents to give her a hint. "It's something you've wanted for a while ... white with a touch of pink." Gigi dashes from the room to call her best friend, Frances. She's knows what she's getting: a diamond tiara with a big pink feather on top!
On Christmas Eve, Gigi's daddy reads to her about the birth of Jesus. She decides a stable and manger are not nearly good enough for a baby king. "But at least He got gifts...that must have made Him feel royal." Her father replies: "He was the gift. God's perfect present to all of us."
On Christmas morning Gigi tears through the mountain of gifts, hunting for the tiara she knows is there. She can't find it. Finally, with a tear on her cheek, she opens the biggest present, knowing there will be no princess crown this year. Inside is a white poodle with a pink princess collar. Gigi is thrilled and names her new pet 'Tiara.' That night she decides the shepherds were probably just as surprised as she was. "Who would have ever thought that the very best gift in the world would come in such an unexpected package?"
The last page of the book quotes Luke 2:10-12 and Matthew 2:10-11.
Illustrated by Meredith Johnson, the Gigi books are perfectly feminine. Each character is full of expression.
What I Like: Gigi is endearing. She's precocious and sweet with a tender heart. (In fact, she's exactly like my daughter, even down to the curly hair!) Using such an adorable character, this book makes a wonderful point: that sometimes the best gifts are not at all what we expect; sometimes we don't even know what we really want the most -- a message which the target audience (girls who think they're princesses) need to learn. I love the illustrations! The book would not be the same without them. Also, the price is nice. Usually hardcover picture books of this size are much more expensive.
What I Dislike: This book is long and, like the main character, seems to lose focus in a couple spots. My daughter loved Gigi's The Pink Ballerina, but this book didn't hold her attention. She is below the suggested age range, so the length may be perfect for older kids. Another minor detraction, the mountain of gifts she receives on Christmas is daunting. I understand Gigi is an only child, but I felt this reinforced the materialism with which princess-crazed girls already struggle.
Overall Rating: Very Good.
Age Appeal: 4-8, but I think 6-10 is more accurate.
Publisher Info: Tommy Nelson, 2006; ISBN: 1400308011; Hardback; $12.99
Special Info: Click HERE to see our reviews of other books by Sheila Walsh featuring more Gigi and a boy's character, Will.