Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Picture Book: The Animal’s Christmas Carol by Helen Ward

Story Summary
The Animal’s Christmas Carol (ages 4-9) was inspired by the French Christmas carol “The Friendly Beasts.”   Using comforting rhyming stanzas, animals all declare the glory of the Lord and give unique gifts to the newborn king.  For instance, the cow and her calf give up their manger bed while camels carry the gifts from the wise men.  Other animals, also, see how they play a part in this glorious event.  The ram gives his wool for a warm blanket, the turtle dove sings a song to the baby, and the mongoose keeps poisonous snakes at bay.  All the beasts fill the stable, “warm and bright, with love and peace that Christmas night.”

The illustrations of this oversized book are stunning!   The poetic verse is delightful.  The Bible states that even nature worships God, and God, Himself, takes care of them.  In this narrative, God uses the animals to take care of His son.  It made me think about all the ways the God works behind the scenes for us.  We do not see how that delay prevented us from a car crash or that small error prevented a bigger mistake.   We do not see how God protects us from wild animals or, even, wild people.  We tend to take his protection and blessings for granted. The Animal’s Christmas Carol reminds me of the importance of giving God the gift of our worship and our talents, each person in his/her own unique way. 

Other Illustrated Christmas Carol Books:
Away in a Manger by Thomas Kinkade
The First Noel by Janina Domanska
Silent Night by Susan Jeffers

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