CM . . .
. Volume XIV Number 5 . . . . October 26, 2007
Thus begins the enchanting story of a carpenter, of his friendship with a small reindeer, of faith shared within a community, and, above all, of love. The carpenter, whose attempt to build himself a house is depicted here within the book, has dedicated his life to helping others build their houses and create their homes. Finally, it is time for him to build his own. While the carpenter is alone in the woods, he finds an orphaned reindeer, which he names Little Star, and they become fast friends. Spring turns to summer, summer fades to autumn, and soon all of the villagers whom he has helped in the past come to visit him, bringing food, friendship, and faith.
The carpenter works on his house all the way through winter until just before Christmas. He finds a home for Little Star in the stall he built attached to his own house. When it is finally done, he begins to make little toys for the children in the village and a Christmas surprise to share with his friends. Along with the village children, the carpenter and Little Star set off to find a Christmas tree which soon becomes the centrepiece of warm and beauty in the carpenter’s house.
On Christmas Eve, all of the carpenter’s friends from the village arrive at his house to share the special evening. After dinner, he leads them out into the woods where he shows them the hand carved crèche he has delicately created. He reads to his friends from the Bible about the birth of Jesus in the midst of snow falling. As the villagers head home that night, the carpenter gives them each a gift, knowing in his heart that he has already shared the gift of faith and love.
The illustrations are captivating and give off a warm, glowing quality evoking the Christmas spirit. Each picture (and there are so many of them!) is rich with detail; they breathe more life into the already poignant words.
A Star for Christmas would make a lovely Christmas gift for any child who loves to read and who cherishes the Christmas spirit. As well, it would make a lovely addition to any collection’s seasonal materials. Mentions of the Bible, Jesus, and Christianity should not discourage anyone from reading the book, since they have an especially appropriate presence in such as Christmas story. While topical, these references do not seem forced or overly moralizing.
Laura E. Ludtke, a candidate for an M.A. in Classics at Queen’s University, has always enjoyed reading beautifully illustrated books about Christmas, no matter the time of the year.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.