Thursday, December 24, 2009

BBB Banishes the "Bah Humbugs" With A Little Bookish Goodness

Wow! I don't know about you, but I've been busy this week. With last-minute Christmas shopping, houseguests, a cousin's wedding, my birthday (which was wonderful, thanks!), our annual day of doughnut-making, and lots of parties and such, I'm exhausted. And it's not over yet. I hope you're all having a wonderful week full of family, friends and holiday fun.

I loved all of your responses to the question of what "secret" you'd like to find waiting under the Christmas tree. I so wish I could wave a magic wand and grant all your wishes, especially for Jody's little niece and for Marilu, who's having trouble feeling the Christmas spirit this year. This year has been so rough for so many people that I just hope we can all find peace and joy in the new year. A little prosperity wouldn't be so bad, either!
I do have good news for Jody and Jenna, both of whom won a copy of The Christmas Secret by Donna VanLiere. Congratulations, ladies! If you'll email your mailing addresses to blogginboutbooksATgmailDOTCOM, I'll get the books out to you as soon as I can. Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway. I have more fun ones coming up, so stay tuned ...

Since I'm still working on Loyalty's Web, a fun medieval romance by Arizonan Joyce DiPastena, I'm going to save that review for next week. Today, I want to tell you all about a wonderful author/illustrator I just discovered. Her name is Nancy Tillman, and I'd never heard of her until I saw her featured in BookPage. The illustrations in the sidebar just enchanted me, so I bought both The Spirit of Christmas and On the Night You Were Born. Both books are beautiful - the pictures have this vivid, but dreamlike quality that just really speaks to me.

On the Night You Were Born is my favorite, so I'm going to start with it. The book celebrates the birth of a child. I couldn't even get through the first sentence without feeling tears well up in my eyes:
"On the night you were born, the moon smiled with such wonder that the stars peeked in to see you and the night wind whispered, 'Life will never be the same.'"

Between celebrating my daughter's first birthday this year and remembering the birth of the Christ child, I felt the power of that sentiment echo in my heart.

The rest of the story touched me in a similar way as it talked about trumpets blowing in heaven, birds staying on the windowsill, bears dancing at the zoo, and geese honking in the sky all to herald the arrival of a new baby. It's a story that will make every child feel unique and special. If you can read it to your little ones without sniffling a little, then you're made of stronger stuff than I am.

On the Night You Were Born is the perfect gift for a young child or a new mother. It's sweet, beautiful and tender. I adore it.

Grade: A


The Spirit of Christmas is also sweet and beautiful, but it's not quite as impactful as On the Night You Were Born. I made it through its opening lines without any tears:

I had just nodded off, at a quarter past four, when the Spirit of Christmas stepped in through my door.

The "Spirit of Christmas" goes on to teach an important lesson about the true meaning of the holiday. It's a familiar message:

"That's when the Spirit of Christmas smiled. 'Remember, this all began with a child. Because it took nothing but love to begin it, it's not really Christmas if love isn't in it.'

Your tree may be large as the room will allow with a big yellow star on the uppermost bough, but of one thing I'm certain, I'm sure of one thing.

It is love that makes the angels sing."

Although The Spirit of Christmas didn't capture me as much as On the Night You Were Born, it's still a lovely book with incredible illustrations that will capture the imaginations of children big and small.

Grade: B

(Book images are from Barnes & Noble; BookPage excerpt is from Nancy Tillman's website.)

From little ole me here at BBB to all my readers, wherever you may be - MERRY CHRISTMAS! May you find all kinds of wonderful secrets under your tree, between the pages of a book, and in the smiles of family and friends. Have a wonderful holiday.

3 comments:

  1. Happy Christmas!! Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congratulations to the winners! I enjoyed reading everyone's responses.

    I hope you have a very Merry Christmas. My husband and I will be having a quiet Christmas this year, just the two of us. (Hubby's making us some late evening hot chocolate as I write this.)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Merry Christmas to you and yours.
    Congrats to the winners!

    ReplyDelete

Comments make me feel special, so go crazy! Just keep it clean and civil. Feel free to speak your mind (I always do), but be aware that I will delete any offensive comments.

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