Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Book Review: The King's Christmas List

We are born in sin, with a selfish nature. It is at its basic level seen in children- why is it so hard to share and give? While especially appropriate around Christmas time, the book The King's Christmas List by Eldon Johnson is a wonderful story to share with children (and even adults!) what it means to truly give.

Following Emma's journey as she gives her favorite, her best, and her new items to other people in need- she comes to find out that when she gave her gifts she was like she was giving to the King- Jesus. While at His birthday party (Christmas celebration) she finds that what Jesus enjoys most of all is seeing others give to one another- because it is like giving to him.

I find this story hits on two main levels. One- that is is good to give and share. It is important to give our best, our favorite, our new things - not just what is left over or what we don't want anymore. By giving our best, we are really giving God our best. By giving to others in need, you are really giving to God and fulfilling the commandment to 'love our neighbors.'

Secondly, this book does an excellent job of explaining to children why it is custom to give gifts on Christmas. The holiday can quickly become commercialized and gift focused. The King's Christmas List shares how giving is an expression of God's gift to us in Jesus.

I thought this book did an excellent job of sharing the concept of biblical giving to a child geared for ages I'd say 4-10. My four year daughter did great with the concepts. The only downsides to the book are that I feel it is a little 'wordy' and uses a lot of extra phrases that are unnecessary and make it more difficult to read. An example: the continuous validation of the 'pretend aspect' with the letter, voices, and talking dog. Kids will take a story at face value and don't need the constant validation that it is pretend. Also, I felt the illustrations were not very captivating. Overall, I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishers and BookSneeze for giving me the book to review and enjoy!

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