December 1, 2010
An Heirloom Advent & Book Review: Little Star
My father-in-law surprised me last night with this gorgeous advent calendar hand-crafted by my mother-in-law. It's similar to one she made for her kids when my husband was a boy. Just look at all the detail!
All of the ornaments (there are more than 25) are made out of felt, beads, and sequins. The three kings are my favorite.
This one's gift is made from sea glass found on our nearby beach. Don't you love his crown?
And the camel is just too cute! I love his little ankle bracelets.
Aside from the traditional nativity characters, she included various symbols of Christmas, like this snow-covered chapel. See its little bell?
She also sent a list of verses that correspond with each ornament so we can do devotionals together. I'm so honored to receive such a wonderful labor of love and can't wait to continue this family tradition with her grand daughters! Thanks, Mom!
Little Star by Anthony DeStafano
I was excited to receive a new Christmas story to review. There are so many seasonal books available, but so few really live up to expectations. This one almost hits the mark.
Little Star is ignored by all the other stars, but when he sees the new king born in a humble stable, he alone of the all stars understands that Jesus chose to be "born little to show all the people of the world that he loved them, no matter how small or poor they were." Inspired by this love, Little Star burns brightly to warm the newborn baby, in the end burning himself out. But he isn't really gone, because every Christmas we put a star on the top of our tree to remember him by.
The illustrations in the story are lovely for the most part - the manger scenes are truly gorgeous. The images of Little Star and his fellow stars, on the other hand, are very cartoony and feel disjointed compared to the more lavish earthly images. The story itself is sweet and has a nice moral, but I found the "tell me a story, daddy" narrative device to be unnecessary and contrived. And while I liked the tie-in to our tradition of star tree-toppers, the idea that our memory keeps Little Star alive bothered me. Still, it's a nice little story to add to the genre.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.