What a special story, that will be told forever! I love the way this book was written, seems like it brings God back into a poem. Nothing like making a story lyrical to remember it! I don’t think that this story could ever be told too many times, and I love hearing the different ways from such creative authors!
The First Christmas Night is a beautiful retelling of the birth of Jesus on that joyous night in Bethlehem so long ago. The poem begins with the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem and winds though Christ’s birth, the angels’ appearance to the shepherds, and the visit by the Wise Men. The simple, yet elegant, verses will appeal to little ones and are accompanied by the rich acrylic illustrations of ChristineKornacki.
’Twas the very first Christmas when all through the town
not a creature was stirring—there was not a sound.
The moon shining bright in the heavens so high
gave the look of midday to the Bethlehem sky.
The animals were nestled in warm, cozy places
with looks of contentment on each of their faces.
About the Author
Keith Christopher is a composer, arranger, orchestrator, and educator, and he has served as editor and producer for several major music publishers. In addition to writing and studio producing, Keith is on the faculty at the Blair School of Music of Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He lives in Hendersonville, Tennessee, with his wife and two children.
About the Illustrator
At a very early age, Christine Kornacki developed a love for painting and bringing stories to life. After receiving a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford, her dreams of illustrating children’s books began to take shape, including illustrating the best-selling The Sparkle Box for Ideal’s Children’s Books. Christine’s recent work also includes illustrating the six-book series for the American Girl historical doll characters Marie-Grace and Cecile. She spends her days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming cafe in New Haven, Connecticut. Who is it for? Kids ages 4-8 – The rhyming language can help them develop verbal language skills and learn to read Family story time during the holidays Children’s Ministers and Sunday school teachers Christmas carolers could set it to a tune!
The Sparkle Box is absolute Christian inspiration. Let this storybook help your family begin a new tradition, it will be one you always cherish!
A Wee Confession
Let me start this review with a confession: I had heard of this book before. Last year, somewhere around Christmas, I heard an interview with the author on Focus on The Family. It really touched my heart and I’ve literally thought about it all year long. The author’s goal seemed to truly be the lesson the book teaches: to give to others.
It is not often that I am inspired by a children’s book. I read the book in order to do the review and had to force myself to come in and write. Not because the task is so daunting, but because the book has me so inspired I don’t want to sit down and write.
I want to do something. Anything. Make bread for the shelters, donate, something! Not simply to fill a box, but to make a difference in someone’s life. One of my favorite scriptures, and one my husband and I remind each other of constantly is this: “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40 KJV.
Lessons from the Book
This book will not only teach your children the joy of helping others, but it will make you want to go out and help someone else, anyone else. My family has taught me throughout the years to help others. Even my little brother who seems to be on a poor attempt at running from God has reminded me through his actions to do whatever I can to help others.
When we were kids we went through a period where our Mom couldn’t afford to pay the bills, much less provide for Christmas. That year, a man we had never heard of, came to our home with a basket of fruit and a gift for my brother and I. I don’t remember what my brother got, but I got a curling iron gift set.
I’ve never been a girly girl, don’t even know if I ever actually used that set, but what I do know is that I hold that as one of my fondest memories. It was a great lesson and has been a constant inspiration for me to help others throughout my life.
Granted, I don’t wish that upon anyone, but the lesson could never be the same. The closest I’ve seen to something teaching this lesson is this book.
A Gift with the Power to Change Christmas
Sam is so excited about Christmas! He’s thinking about his Christmas list, looking forward to holiday parties, and puzzling over one very mysterious gift: a sparkly box sitting on the mantel. In the midst of the festivities, Sam and his family participate in various acts of kindness to others.
On Christmas morning, when Sam finally opens the SparkleBox, he finds only slips of paper that record the family’s good deeds. Sam’s mom explains that the things that they’ve been doing are, in fact, a gift for Jesus, for Jesus said that whatever we do for those in need, we do for Him.
Author Jill Hardie and her family began placing a gift for Jesus under their Christmas tree as a way of bringing more meaning to the holiday. The first time they opened His gift, the commercialism of the season melted away and they felt a profound joy and peace. Jill hopes that The SparkleBoxwill spark a new Christmas tradition, bringing light into thousands of lives.
At a very early age, Christine Kornacki developed a love for painting and bringing stories to life. After receiving a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford, her dreams of illustrating children’s books began to take shape. She spends her days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming cafe in New Haven, Connecticut.