Saturday, December 1, 2018

December Holiday Books #1 and #2

Advent is almost here so I’m going back to my simple format from my first year at PBT. That will allow me to feature more December holiday books. These two are a lesson in contrasts. One is brand new – my favorite discovery this season so far! One has been around for a while and was a recommendation from a webinar listener. Thanks for that! I’m sorry I didn’t catch your name. 

Here they are…


Picture Book: A Savior is Born:                                                                              Rocks Tell the Story of Christmas
Author & Photographer: Patti Rokus
Summary: This book will delight and amaze your audience! Rokus has managed to artistically explore the story of Jesus’ birth in rock collage, pairing each creation with a familiar scripture. In the video mentioned below, she says she found all the rocks on one hiking excursion! There is something about these faceless images direct from our Earth that gloriously speaks the Truth of these stories within the one great Story of Christmas. You may never look at rocks the same way again. Look for me to feature her Easter book come spring.
Hanna’s Comments: As is true for most PBT books, this jewel could be enjoyed by any age group because the art is stunning and so unusual. For very young children, you may want to focus on only a few double page spreads.
Original Publisher & Date: Zondervan, 2018
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet, Check out the 2 informative videos on the Amazon page. Fabulous!
Scripture Connections: Scriptures make up the text of this book.
Idea(s) for Application: Share this book with a group of children and offer a variety of rocks so that they too may create images that correspond to Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany stories.

Note: You may find this book with a different cover. 

Picture Book: Room for Little One: A Christmas Tale
Author: Martin Waddell
Illustrator: Jason Cockcroft
Summary: There are many picture books that cleverly have Jesus' birth told from animals' points of view. This one is special in that a series of animals offer invitations, share the warmth and comfort of the stable, accommodate differences, and even cuddle beside a species that might be thought of as an enemy. After each invitation, you find the sentence: There's always room for a little one here. Old Dog is welcomed by Kind Ox who later invites Stray Cat. Small Mouse is encouraged to come in by Stray Cat. Despite her fears, she enters. When Tired Donkey needs a place for Mary and Joseph, Kind Ox again offers hospitality so that Jesus, a little one so vulnerable, is born among selfless animals and loving parents. Beautiful!
Hanna’s Comments: This book may be written for young children, but the heart of the message is for us all. Will we make room for the message of Christmas amidst the chaos of the holiday? Will allow inside those we disagree with? Those who are very different from us? Those who make us uncomfortable? Even our enemies? These are burning questions for many in the world today and they relate to the themes of Luke's gospel message. For some fun, ask your audience to think about which character they most identify with and what kind of animal (or who in their lives) would they have the most difficulty inviting and accommodating. Invite those who will to share. You might be surprised at how profound their personal reflections are. I suspect we all imagine ourselves peering into that manger. Complicate those imaginings this year with this challenging story of hospitality and accommodation.
Original Publisher & Date: McElderry, 2004
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 2 and up, Toddler and up
Formats other than Book: Audio Cassette
Scripture Connections: Luke 2:1-7
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of adults and then encourage them to go into their neighborhood and invite all they meet to your Christmas Eve service.