Sunday, January 9, 2011

The King’s Christmas List by Eldon Johnson, Illustrated by Bonnie Leick

The King’s Christmas List tells of a little girl named Emma and her dog, Shu-Shu, who are invited to a royal Christmas celebration—the king’s birthday party! After Emma and Shu-Shu receive the royal invitation to the party, they encounter a problem: What can they take to give the king as a birthday present? Emma and her dog finally decide to take the cake Emma had baked and are soon off to the party in the King’s royal carriage. On the way, however, these royal partygoers meet some travelers who will test their spirit of generosity and change the way they view Christmas. 

For me, this book was a pleasant surprise. I half expected it to point out self-righteously that, since Christmas is “Christ’s birthday,” we should be giving gifts to Him instead of to each other. In fact, it did point that out, although it managed to avoid sounding self-righteous. I was surprised, however, when the book went on to show us how we can give gifts to Christ. As it says in Matthew 25:37-40, we give gifts to Christ when we serve others. Obviously, this book has a Christian message, which is not likely to be appreciated by people who want to “de-Christianize” Christmas. For Christians, however, this book would make an excellent tool for teaching children the biblical reason for giving. Both the story and the illustrations have a slightly whimsical, fairy tale-ish feel to them. For instance, Shu-Shu is a talking dog. I would recommend this book to parents of 4-8 year olds.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expresses are my own.

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