The Christmas Promise – Alison Mitchell & Catalina Echeverri

The Christmas Promise
The Christmas Promise Board Book by Alison Mitchell
Published by Good Book Company on October 1, 2019
Genres: Children's, Bible Stories
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five-stars

Long, long ago, God promised to send a very special new King. Would you like to know how he did it?
Using simple sentences and stunning illustrations, this 16-page board book introduces young children to the events of the very first Christmas.

Children’s Christmas books are an easy and expected market. It’s a familiar story that gets told every year and adults want the young ones in their lives to experience it in a way they can understand. And with Christmas being a gift-giving holiday and books being an excellent gift (for kids and adults alike…hint hint), it’s not surprising to see every Christian publisher have their own offering.

This can be both good and bad. Bad, because sometimes you’ll see a story thrown together slapdash with no real thought or passion behind it. Good, because to truly stand out, you have to be willing to have a compelling take on a story you can’t really deviate from and do it well.

As such, the primary thing I look for in books like this are the illustrations. They are thing most likely to be varied from book to book. And the first thing I look for in any Christian-themed picture book? Jesus.

I think it has to be a conscious choice that Jesus is portrayed in a variety of skin tones. He’s a definite Middle Eastern brown on the cover, looks lighter in a few of the panels, and is a definite peachy white on the final page. Hopefully, the reason for this is that illustrator Catalina Echiverri is both trying to capture the historical Jesus while also appealing to the need for small children to see characters who look like them.

The story itself focuses mainly on the angels who deliver the Christmas message. The first two panels set up this focus by asking the question: “Long, long ago, God promised to send a very special new King. Would you like to know how he did it?”

From Mary and Joseph to the shepherds and wise men, The Christmas Promise tells us of the angelic Gospel message of the coming King. (And bonus points for setting the timeframe of the wise men correctly!) It’s illustrated well and tells a simple story, intended for toddlers. There’s not much here to call it outstanding, but nothing to really pick at, either. It’s cutely illustrated with a fun message. It’s a solid offering from a great publisher.

five-stars

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