Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Three Gifts of Christmas

The Three Gifts of Christmas, a follow-up to Jennie Bishop's popular The Princess and the Kiss, tells the story of a wealthy princess who learns the true meaning of Christmas. The princess, who has grown ungrateful, is sad when her parents decide to give her only three gifts for Christmas this year. They also ask the townspeople not to bring gifts to the castle, for themselves or for the princess.

When Christmas dawns, the princess slowly goes downstairs, but is pleasantly surprised by the beauty and thoughtfulness of the gifts, (which parallel the gold, frankincense, and myrrh the Wise Men brought to the Baby Jesus). As the princess and her family celebrate the twelve days of Christmas, the princess is given the chance to bless a fatherless girl, a beggar, and a new mother and child with her gifts. She realizes the truth of Acts 20:35, "It is more blessed to give than to receive."

The story is warmly illustrated, with different shades of rose, and Christmas greens, by Preston McDaniels. You can almost smell the feast, and feel the warmth of the fire or the cold of the snow.

The book includes an audio CD, which is narrated in a soothing woman's voice, with background music suited to the events on the page. The music is happy and cheerful during the feast, sad and somber when a little girl's father is killed, and peaceful as the princess learns lessons about giving. The narrator does a nice job changing her voice for the different characters in the story.

What I Like: Everything! I like the message of the story, the illustrations, and the CD. My kids also love the book and have been listening to it every night before bed. It seems a particularly fitting message for this year, when many families may be on a tighter budget for Christmas than in the past.

What I Dislike: Nothing

Overall Rating: Excellent

Age Appeal: 6 and up (but my 5-year-old loves it)

Publisher Info: Warner Press Kids, 2009; ISBN: 978-1-59317-378-4; Hardcover, $15.99

Buy it Now at for $11.99

OR Buy it at for $10.87.

Check out our reviews of Jennie Bishop's other books here.

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