Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chrissie's Shell

Chrissie's Shell was written by Brooke Keith and illustrated by Mary Bausman.

When Chrissie, a turtle, looks inside her shell, she sees nothing, just an empty shell. She wishes she were special, like a super fast mouse or a fancy tree-climbing squirrel. Even a hedgehog or a bear would be better than a turtle! She mopes through her day -- slow enough to help a hurt lizard here and a good enough swimmer to save a fallen egg there -- but mostly just wishing and believing that if she tried hard enough, she could become one of those other creatures that are obviously so special.

When Chrissie's efforts to transform herself fail, she complains to God. "Could you make me into a real someone? My shell is empty. You must have forgotten to fill it." After some discussion back and forth, God assures her there IS someone in her shell, "... a very smart, very creative, very wonderful little someone." He directs her to the pond. There Chrissie sees her reflection for the first time and realizes that she is lovely, just the way God made her. If she were too fast, she wouldn't be able to help hurt lizards and if she were big or fancy, she wouldn't be a good swimmer. God made her just as she is on purpose.

The full-page illustrations are saturated with color, yet still warm and soft. Readers will delight in creative details throughout the book.

What I Like: It's a sweet story that flows easily. I love the timeless message of unique self-worth and God's purposeful design. For the most part, I really like the illustrations. This artist is quite skilled. The colors are fabulous.

What I Dislike:
I found a few of the illustrations a little odd and distracting, like when Chrissie imagines she's a different creature. There is nothing in the book that I truly DISlike, but also nothing I can pinpoint as extraordinary.

Overall Rating: Very Good.

Age Appeal: 4 and up

Publisher Info: Warner Press Kids, 2010; ISBN: 1593173989; Hardback; 32 pages; $14.99

Buy it Now at for $11.99!

OR Buy it at for $11.69.

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