In Why We Give Gifts at Christmas Time, Corine Hyman, Ph.D. takes the focus off receiving gifts. Instead, she gives a wonderful, biblically based explanation for our gift giving and leads us to the most wonderful Gift we could ever receive.
Throughout the story, we are introduced to different children of different races. Each child explains one reason why they give gifts at Christmas, and the page ends with a Bible verse relating to the reason the child gave for giving gifts. At the end of the story, it's explained that even though it's Jesus' birthday, these are the reasons we give gifts to each other.
The illustrations are very child-like and reminded me of the illustrations used in many of the Little Golden Books I read growing up. My 5 year old daughter was intrigued by the simplicity of the illustrations and noticed things I had overlooked - such as the letters on each of the gifts throughout the story and how they spell out a final message on the last page.
What I Like: I like how Scripture is used to explain to children why we give gifts at Christmas time. Each reason has a biblical basis to it.
I also liked that children of every nationality are portrayed in the illustrations. This book can be read to any child and they will find someone who looks like them somewhere in the story.
What I Dislike: Each two page spread begins with a very similar pattern. "This is my friend ______. Why do you give gifts at Christmas time?" It is not an exact repeat on each page, but it is very close. As a parent reading it to my child, the first couple of sentences on each two-page spread seemed a bit repetitive.
Overall Rating: Very good.
Age Appeal: 5-9 years old
Publisher Info: Teaching Christ's Children, 2012; ISBN:978-0-9855423-0-6 ; hardcover, 32 pgs., $16.95
Buy it at Amazon.com for $14.99 (hardcover), Kindle, $4.99