Friday, November 5, 2010

Dad's Christmas Stories

Dad’s Christmas Stories, written by Robert Martin Boerner and illustrated by Trilby Boerner Wallace, is a picture book that contains seven short stories about Christmas. The illustrations hold simple charm and seemed well planned to fit the text. The fictional tales range from those about Santa Claus to those containing portions of the real account of the birth of Christ. Some of the stories resemble familiar folktales. For example, The Miracle of the Christmas Flower is reminiscent of the legend of the Poinsettia. All of the stories carry a clearly stated moral element.

What I Like: The author started a family tradition of creating and telling a new Christmas story for his family each year… and I find that whole idea heart-warming. I can envision the delight of his family as he shares this book he wrote for them.

What I Dislike: The book is geared for kids 9-12, yet I felt the pictures seemed more suitable to a younger audience while the vocabulary—with words like distraught, contemporaries, and subsequently—seemed better suited for an older audience. At times, the writing felt stilted and preachy. Plus, in one story the children discover that Santa Claus is real. Most 9-12 year olds have figured out that he isn’t.

I was also disappointed that the book did not reference what Bible passage or translation was used in the stories that contained portions of Scripture, especially since at least one passage is quoted almost word for word from the New American Standard Bible. (The difference in text was the assertion of “he announced to them”.)

However, perhaps the thing that bothered me most was the way the book made me feel like the story of Christ’s birth was little more than a legend. Even stories that were based on Scripture held just enough fiction (an angel with a broken wing riding piggy-back on Gabriel when he greets the shepherds and a wise man who overcame drug and stimulant abuse) to make me shake my head.

Overall Rating: Ho-hum.

Age Appeal: The publisher lists it as 9-12, but I feel the stories (minus complex vocabulary) and pictures would appeal more to kids ages 4-8.

Publisher Info: Grateful Steps, 2008; ISBN:978-0978954895; Hardback, 72 PGS., $21.95.

Not yet available at
Buy it at for $21.95.

Bookmark and Share

No comments: