All I Want For Christmas Is...A Family
by L.P. Randolph
Christian Faith Publishing

"The star said, ‘Yes! My glow is dim,
My face may look grim.
All that’s wrong.
I haven’t a family to belong."

Young readers meet Shirley James, a young girl who always prays by her Christmas tree. One evening, as Shirley prays, the star on the Christmas tree speaks to her. The star’s presence confuses Shirley, and she quickly escapes to her bed. Young readers will be enchanted as they follow the story of the Christmas star, who reveals to Shirley’s mother that it wants a family to call its own. The star grows sadder and sadder, and Shirley’s mother wonders if she will have to discard it. However, an accident causes the tree to collapse and changes Christmas for everyone.

Rhyming lines and colorful artwork illuminate this collection. Children will enjoy reading this book aloud because of the rhyme schemes. The colorful illustrations create a visual experience all by themselves. The illustrations accompany the storyline, and the gentle hues of blues, purples, and yellows resonate with the story’s message of peace and tranquility. This book also bears a strong message about the power of faith and prayer. Young Shirley is dedicated to her faith. She prays each night, and it is her prayers which set the story in motion. The protagonist also maintains faith and hopes that the Christmas season for her and her mother will improve. While she and her mother face conflict, Shirley’s strength and resilience will inspire the author’s target audience, and especially young readers of faith, to continue pursuing their path.

Embedded in the book’s message about faith is a message about the power of family. It is clear throughout the book that Shirley’s family consists of the main character, her mother, and their multitude of pets. It is also evident that Shirley’s mother works hard to provide for her daughter. Thus, the story transforms into a message about looking at what one has rather than at what one doesn’t have. This then forms a message about appreciating the experiences which shape individuals into who they are. The book also carries a message about who and what forms a family. In this book, the family is not simply Shirley and her mother. It also includes the multitude of animals for which they care. This lesson continues as the star discovers it is not alone, and its joy and happiness begin to inspire Shirley and her mother.

This book is an inspirational read. It incorporates humor with life lessons and philosophical insights to shape a tale sure to stay with young readers long after they have finished it. It perfectly captures the Christmas season’s wonderment through a child’s experience, which reminds readers that the joy experienced during the holiday season is a joy one should carry throughout the days that follow. The book also bears a strong message about the power of understanding others and treating them with kindness. This lesson is imperative for young readers as they embark on their social journeys. All in all, this is a great book for children and their families, and readers of any age will appreciate this book’s message of hope, humanity, and faith.

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