Christmas Begins with Christ: a welcome Christmas book

Author: Gina Kirkland

Illustrated: Marissa Napolitano

Publisher: Gina Kirkland

Age Range: 4 – 7

Gina Kirkland was inspired to write and produce this lovely Christmas picture book.  Taking the theme of God’s love, she shows children how love can be spread around in the most simple of ways.  Carollers spread the love of God by singing together, friends and family play and run about feeling the joy of love all around them.  The book reminds youngsters that Christmas is not all about Santa and Christmas gifts, it is about Jesus and remembering his birthday.

Using rhyming couplets, the words are simple, and the message is easy to understand.  I loved Marissa Napolitano’s illustrations which depict God’s light that swirls and envelopes people as they dance, play and pray.  It is a cheerful and innocent book that highlights the many ways we can show love to each other, and honour God’s love for us.  Another highlight of the illustrations is the depiction of multi-racial children, adults and families, and also includes people of varying abilities.

This story book is aimed at young readers, and they will love having it read to them at Christmas time.  It is not a specifically Catholic book, but it is certainly Christian, and it prominently puts Jesus at the very centre of the story of Christmas.  It is not the most clever or profound Christmas book I have reviewed, and for people who enjoy a hot climate at Christmas, it is yet another of thousands of books that depict a snowy Christmas.  But none the less, this Christmas picture book is still a joy to read and will no doubt become a favourite read aloud for the children in your life.

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