Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Itsy Bitsy Christmas by Max Lucado Illustrated by Bruno Merz

Do you ever feel like you are too small or too ordinary? This is just how Itsy and Bitsy feel. When these two charming little mice hear that a King is coming to Bethlehem, they set off with great enthusiasm to find Him. Along the way, they are met with discouraging words telling them they are too little and unimportant for any king. Just when Itsy and Bitsy begin to believe they really aren't big enough for the new King, they learn that Christ the King has indeed come for everyone.

Crafted by bestselling author and master storyteller Max Lucado, Itsy Bitsy Christmas helps children understand God's great love and know that He sent His Son for all of us--little or big, young or old.

My first introduction to Max Lucado was through his book You are Special. Though a teenager  at the time, I was thoroughly enchanted and, thanks to those awkward teen  years, deeply touched by the simple yet true message. 

Lucado continues his theme of simple and true messages in his latest children's offering Itsy Bitsy Christmas   which is sure to become a Christmas favourite in our house due to a few factors.

First the illustrations. Courtesy of Bruno Merz the illustrations are a wonderful blend of soft, appealing colours which delight my youngest while still maintaining  enough detail and variety to capture my rambunctious older boy. Board books can definitely find it challenging to strike a balance that will appeal to different ages throughout the family but  Merz tackled this with skill.

Another feature I enjoyed with this book was it's construction. Usually with a board book readers  find themselves sacrificing quality or quantity of story.  Board books usually aim for lower word count due to their audience's estimated age. However, Itsy Bitsy Christmas is a full length story book. As a mom to two boys (did I mention they might be rambunctious?) It's  nice to know that my children can still pile up for  story time without  the book becoming an unintentional casualty.

Finally, the story was cute. The message was easy to understand and easy  showed the story's tagline of no one being "too little for God's love," Putting the story's focus on animals is certainly  not a new angle but it is one that is reused because it is so easy for children to identify, empathize, and attach too. Lucado  may use an old plot device to move his story along but the result leans more towards the timeless than the time  worn.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.