“Once upon a time,” I begin, “there was a princess called Esmé.”
We are lying on her bed in the dark, the power out, no audiobook CD to be played to wind her down for the night.
I combine fact and fiction, creating a fanciful story that winds all over the place, incorporating inside jokes and silly puns that make us laugh. At the end, I manage to make some point to the story, some lesson to be learned.
I may not be a great storyteller, but it makes us smile. “Tell me another one,” she says.
Bethlehem’s Baby is one of those books that makes us smile. “Once there was a girl called Mary,” a chapter begins, and out flows the story of a girl who had a wonderful engagement party, who dreamed of presents and pretty houses and babies. “Thank you God for your perfect plans, more wonderful and wise than any plans we make,” it ends.
And another begins. “Once there was a little boy called Simon who wished he was called Joshua or Jeremiah or Jacob or even John—just any name beginning with a ‘J.’” And we talk about Esmé’s name – what it means, what she wishes she were named – and she can relate to Simon. “Thank you God for knowing all our names… And thank you for Jesus.”
---------------It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
Ms. Deeth was born in England and earned a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Mathematics from Cambridge University. She now lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest where she enjoys reading, writing, and running the Coffee Break Bible Studies and the Writers’ Mill writing group when not meeting her neighbors’ dogs on the green.
Visit the author's website.
This series of 40 linked short stories is aimed at the Middle Grade Reader. Each one is chock full of insights, information, and her trademarked quirky humor, making them a joy for youngsters to read or hear. Each story contain Biblical references and ends with a prayer, making them work equally well for reading to younger children, or grandchildren, at bedtime or naptime. Like all books in the Five-Minute Bible Stories Series they'll have your children begging for “just one more.” Fully Illustrated and Contain Author’s Notes.
List Price: $3.99
File Size: 725 KB
Print Length: 123 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Cape Arago Press (September 2, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
First of all, do yourselves a favor! Go back up and read the first chapter. Grab your child and play the The Wise Research Student video to listen to another chapter. Each of these chapters stands alone, and you’re not going to feel dropped at the end, needing to know how the story ends. Promise! You’ll have a complete little story and a great feel for what this book is like! Yes, you may hear, “Tell me another one!” And that’s when you spend $3.99 to get an e-version of the book with 40 such stories.
This is a book that makes me smile. Each chapter reminds me of a personalized bedtime story. It mixes fact and fiction and metaphors and alliteration and little details and witty dialogue in a delightful twist that enhances the original story without detracting from the message.
The book is targeted toward middle graders, and I do recommend that the reader (or listener) have a solid knowledge of the Biblical version of the stories first and be able to differentiate between fact and fiction. It makes the story more interesting – like a spoof version of a fairy tale is funnier when you know the original version well.
I appreciated how the book began and ended. It starts with In the Beginning: God. The final chapter, The Rest of the Story: God, once again tells again about God making a perfect world, the need for a savior, Jesus’ ministry on earth, and how death is not the end. The story is still going on right now.
And I appreciated the rich detail in between. Character sketches included Caesar Augustus, Joachim, the Innkeeper, the fictional Little Fisherboy, Gamaliel, people who don’t normally get a whole chapter devoted to them in the Bethlehem story.
Overall, a great addition to this Christmas season by a talented writer – and a nice way to end each day with a focus on what is really important.