Thursday, November 12, 2009
The Wonder of Christmas by Dandi Daley Mackall, and illustrated by Dave Hill, is a unique representation of the story of Jesus' birth through the eyes of children.
The children in this book are putting on a Christmas pageant, and as they act out their parts they wonder exactly how the angels, shepherds, innkeeper, wise men, and Joseph and Mary felt during the birth of Jesus.
You'll love watching the children prepare for their pageant as they wonder what the angels thought when God announced that He would send His Son to earth as a baby. Backstage, the boy playing the part of Gabriel wonders how the angel Gabriel felt when he gave Mary the glorious news of a virgin birth. The girl playing the part of Mary is contemplative as she sits on the stage:
"I wonder, what did Mary think
When she heard the news about God's own Son?
Could she be the mother of this chosen One?
When she bowed and said, "May Thy will be done,"
I wonder, what did Mary think?
Your child will start to wonder how Joseph felt when he heard the news of Mary's pregnancy, what the couple said to one another on their long trip to Bethlehem, and what the innkeeper thought when he had to tell Joseph and Mary that the inn was full. The book goes on to wonder how the shepherds felt, and what the wise men thought.
At the end of the story, the children begin to think about what they are feeling about the Christmas season, and the miracle of Christ's birth. They feel awe and wonder, and the urge to seek Christ and run to Him:
"I'll be full of wonder as my Christmas starts, and I'll think of Jesus in my heart of hearts."
What I Like: The story of Christ's birth is so familiar to many children, but how often do we really encourage them to think deeply about it? Reading this book will cause a child to look beyond the facts, and actually make them experience the wonder and joy of the Christmas story. The vivid illustrations fit perfectly with this book, and will draw your child in. The reading of this book could lead to a teachable moment, so be prepared!
What I Dislike: The rhyme is awkward in several spots, but it doesn't detract from the charm of the story.
Overall Rating:Very Good.
Age Appeal: ages 4-8, but my 3 year old loved it!