The Christmas Promise is a beautifully crafted children’s picture book published by the Good Book Company. This publisher is quickly becoming one of my favorite sources of adult’s and children’s inspirational reading. I have reviewed several of their books and have always been impressed by the quality of their content and illustrations. Their editors have an eye for presenting something traditional, like the Christmas story, with a fresh contemporary perspective.
This version of the Christmas story begins with a promise. God made a promise a long time ago and He kept that promise. This book explains how. The premise is clear–God keeps His promises. Every page emphasizes this core truth. I believe this is important today because contemporary young parents and adults often do not know God’s character. They and their children need to know He is trustworthy. Keeping His promises is one way to demonstrate just how much He is worthy of our trust. Sadly in our broken world, so many fathers do not model this for their children, an important step in trusting God. So this story illustrates how God can be trusted to keep His word.
The second concept in the book I liked is how God promised to provide a king for a special purpose. He was to be a forever king, a new king, and a rescuing king. Many of the pages were aptly illustrated with representations of kings, old and modern from around the world. Several are easily recognizable caricatures we may already know about. I’m pretty sure I recognized a Pharaoh, a Chinese emperor, English royalty, and a modern president among the sketches. This kingly theme is an important idea; kings have authority and leadership abilities so that once again it makes this newly born king someone we can trust and follow. This particular kingship was even confirmed by God’s special messengers. When people followed the messengers’ instructions, their words always came true. Even the men who followed a bright star on a long journey saw how the message they gave was true. Again and again, God kept His promises. We can trust Him today, as well.
Catalina Echeverri illustrated this picture book. Her work is simple, whimsical and cartoon-like. She uses muted, earthy colors for the inside scenes, and vibrant blue and yellow for the outside night scenery. Even in their simplicity, the artist strives for historical accuracy in her drawings. Besides illustrating the story, some of the graphics contain subtle messages to the reader; for example, one page has a blank drawing of a king in the foreground with the names of many of Israel’s ancient kings in the background. The book is truly a visual treat for the reader.
The only details I didn’t like in the book were how the print was displayed against a background. On some of the pages, I would like to see the color behind the words lightened so the words are easier to see. After all, there will probably be grandparents reading and perusing this book with their grandchildren. (And we can use all the help we can get!) In addition, the paper is somewhat brittle and may be too easy to rip. Otherwise, I highly recommend this book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Cross Focused Reviews (A Service of Cross Focused Media, LLC) on behalf of The Good Book Company. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”