Thursday, November 10, 2011

Little Shepherd

Tonight the Savior has been born… and a group of lowly shepherds are among the first to know it! In Cheryl G. Malandrinos’ story Little Shepherd, five-year-old Obed is in the middle of the action on that holy night. During Obed’s watch, he and his fellow shepherds are startled by an angel announcing, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people…”

In short order, the shepherds decide, “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us.” Obed balks; he worries about what will happen to the sheep if they are left unattended. Nevertheless, when his father displays a calm trust, Obed sets aside his fears and travels with the other shepherds to Bethlehem.

They find the child just as the angel told them and then return to their fields rejoicing and singing praises to God.

The story ends with Obed discovering that in his absence, the sheep remained safe. He falls asleep remembering all the miraculous things he experienced that night.

Little Shepherd is illustrated by Eugene Ruble.

What I Like: I like the author showing Obed at work. He hears the wolves howl, scans the hills for danger, shivers in the cold, and warms himself by a fire. That sets the mood for the reader. The shepherds show great faith by leaving everything behind and immediately heading to Bethlehem. I also liked the description of the manger scene and Mary and Joseph.

What I Dislike: No Scripture reference is provided, which would have been nice. (It’s based on Luke 2.) Also, in the story text, Scripture is directly quoted from the NIV version. However, nowhere is the NIV Bible sited, and that bothers me. Finally, although most of the story stuck very close to the Scriptural account, there were some liberties taken. For example, God protected the sheep left behind from wandering off and from the wolves, but there is no Scripture to back that up. If I were reading this to my child, I would want to follow up by reading the event from the Bible and pointing out the differences between what is actually recorded and what the author added to the story. It would be a nice springboard for a discussion. Also, the pictures weren't my favorite.

Overall Rating: Very Good

Age Appeal: None is given, but I think the length of the text requires some measure of focus. So I suggest the grade K-2 group.

Publisher Info: Guardian Angel Publishing, 2010; ISBN: 978-161633085: Paperback, 16 Pages, $9.95.

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1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Thank you for your lovely review of Little Shepherd. I'm so glad you enjoyed it and appreciate you sharing it with your readers.

Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving.