Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Preparing for Advent: The Road to Christmas Day

During the Advent season I like to have an assortment of books available to them that help to prepare them for Christmas.  There are a lot of lovely books out there that do an excellent job of steering children towards the real reason for the Christmas season instead of focusing on the secular consumerism Santa theme that seems to be quite prevalent these days.  Jan Godfrey and Marcin Piwowarski's The Road to Christmas Dayis a beautifully illustrated book that takes children on a journey from the annunciation to the wise men seeking out and finding baby Jesus.

I really liked the cadence and repetition that is found throughout the story.  By the end of the story children will not only know the story of Christ's birth, but they'll likely be able to tell you it was two thousand years ago and they will surely have picked up on the fact that everyone involved in this story looked and listened and listened and looked all along the way to Christmas day.  And isn't that what we want our little ones to do this time of year?  We want them to listen to the true meaning of the Christmas  season.  During Advent we're not in a countdown to a big gift grab on December 25th, but rather we're preparing our hearts and minds to celebrate that our God came down from heaven and became man to save us.

The conclusion of the book ends with two lines that can be turned into a wonderful conversation starter with young children to help them further understand the importance of the Christmas story "Now the world was different. The world had Jesus, born on the very first Christmas Day."  Those two final lines are the perfect set up to discuss just how profound the birth of baby Jesus was to the world.

The illustrations in this book are really quite nice.  I'm not sure what medium was used, but the pictures have the richness of oil pastels, and there's a look of texture that just makes these pictures seem very interesting.  My littlest one enjoyed looking at the pictures.

Overall, this would be a very nice book to add to your Advent and Christmas reading for your children.    It would be a great book to read to children in religious education from about preschool up through first grade.  It will be one of the books I read to my kindergarten religious education class this Advent.

I was provided with a review copy of The Road to Christmas Day by the publisher, Pauline Kids, in exchange for my honest review.  To learn more about this book or to purchase a copy visit Pauline Media.

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