Christmas is coming! Why not give those kiddos on your list a picture book? It may become a favorite for a lifetime. Here are some suggestions.

Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story by Sally Lloyd-Jones and illustrated by Alison Jay was published by Zonderkidz in 2011.

Refreshing, imaginative, suspenseful, what more can I say about this one of a kind Christmas find. Dramatic language such as, “rustled,” “rang out” and “drifted” heighten the movement of the story and add to the excitement of its theme that the time has come. The reader travels from the opening scene of a farm with its whispering wind and barn owl taking flight to the ocean’s waves swimming with white whales and starfish. The repetition of “It’s time. It’s time,” ends with the animals holding their breath in a spellbinding moment. Finally the reader discovers that Jesus has come. Interwoven in this most creative presentation of Jesus’ birth are hints that he is the Mighty King, the Prince of Peace and the Shepherd.

Jay’s simple and flowing illustrations capture the momentum and suspense of this imaginative narrative of the Christmas story. It is a gem that I will definitely add to my collection of Christmas classics.

Two others not to be overlooked are:  Santa’s Favorite Story by Hisako Aoki and illustrated by Ivan Gantschev (Aladdin Picture Books, 1997) and The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski and illustrated by P. J. Lynch (Candlewick, 2007) . Two newcomers are: My March to the Manger (a board book) by Mary Manz Simon and illustrated by Kristina Frye (Standard Publishing, 2011) and The Story of Christmas (Carry Me) by Michael Berghof (Concordia Publishing House, 2011 ). This last title has four puzzle pieces and a carrying handle.

May the love and joy of Christmas be yours throughout the New Year.

Carol Green, a graduate of Northwestern, is married and the mother of three adult children. Her five grandchildren affectionately call her “Grams cracker.”

She is the published author of many poems for both adults and children; three coloring books: God Gave Me Five, ABC Fun Book, and Color God’s World Bright; and the picture book: My Mom Loves Me.

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